"Kings of the Asylum" (Nuclear Blast America; 2023)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Legendary Welsh guitarist Phil Campbell, long time bandmate of Lemmy Kilmister in Motorhead (31 years!), has released the third album (not counting a live recording that came out earlier this year) from Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons. Why Bastard Sons? Three of Phil's sons are in the band and, apparently, they don’t mind being called bastards (who am I to say differently?) Besides, the band name sounds really fricken cool.

The vocalist here actually sounds a bit like Lemmy, but not in a mimicking way, but more in a tribute way. But he puts his own spins on things as well and he rocks. As for Phil, well, he's written music for Lemmy for decades so why not write more of the same? That's the kind of rock you get on "Kings of the Asylum." This shit is tight, powerful and very concise music that should be listened to at very loud level.

I think the late, great Lemmy Kilmister would be a huge fan of his former bandmates: Phil is kicking ass with his boys and Mikkey Dee is killing it drumming for The Scorpions. . 3 1/2 chain saws

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"We're the Bastards" (Nuclear Blast America; 2020)

Reviewed by Snidermann

For me, Phil Campbell will always be the guitarist for the legendary band Motorhead. He started with that band in 1984 and played with the immortal Lemmy until Lemmy's death in 2015.

This band's name is Phil Campbell and The Bastard Sons and it involves his sons Todd, Dane and Tyla with Neil Starr on vocals. This band is a musical force. "We're the Bastards" is their second album and it is nothing short of kick ass rock'n'roll. Not only does it kick ass, it's very well thought-out and presented with a taste of the classic rock style: simple, to the point, easy to listen to with outstanding songwriting and killer production values. Put that all together and you've got one killer fucking band.

Phil once again demonstrates why Lemmy liked his guitar so much. It is fun and loud and, frankly, if it wasn't, why listen to it?

There were time while listening to this recording that I could actually feel Lemmy’s aura. I am sure he's watching over his old mate and telling him, "You did good. Keep it up."

I can only guess what these guys are like live because on this recorded version but I'd love to see them perform. Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons rock and they rock fucking hard.

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"Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons" (Motorhead Music; 2016)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

After Lemmy died, and with him, Motorhead, I was seriously concerned as to whether Phil Campbell would continue to play rock'n'roll. I really had no basis for this; I'd only interviewed Phil once, and exchanged a few e-mails with him after, so the thought was all in my head. Still, Phil had been in Motorhead with Lemmy for over thirty years and the loss of such a legend, not to mention (in Phil's case) a bandmember and friend, must have been brutal.

So I was thrilled when I discovered that Phil would continue with one of his side bands, Phil Campbell's All-Starr Band. And I was even more thrilled when they dumped that silly name and went with Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons. I had seen them perform on Wacken in 2016 (thanks to YouTube) and i was impressed with what I saw. It was basically a show full of cover songs but it worked, Phil looked like he was having fun, and the band rocked.

But would we ever get some original music?

The answer is yes. Which brings us to the self-titled five-track EP, "Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons."

Let's get the obvious out of the way first. Don't try and compare this band to Motorhead. If you're looking for something that sounds like Motorhead, go back to the Motorhead catalog, there's plenty of it, and find something there. Nothing will ever compare to Motorhead.

That being said, Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons' EP still took me by surprise. Despite the fact I'd seen the Wacken footage and was impressed by it, I still didn't know what to expect from Phil's other band. I mean, the band consists of Phil, three of his sons, and vocalist Neil Starr and family bands are often the stuff of disaster.

There was no need to worry here. This EP kicks some serious ass. It's loaded with solid riffs, catchy hooks and, of course, incredibly blistering leads. Vocalist Neil Starr can really belt out the words, the songs are (with one exception) powerful hard rockers and Phil's mind-blowing fretwork is, as always, a highlight.

Of the five tracks here, four are fast-paced, heavy rockers that will have you banging your head violently, especially the opener, "Big Mouth," and the driving "No Turning Back." The final track, "Life in Space," is a softer number with bluesy vocals and calmer guitars. Still, a great track.

The bottom line here is this: The world is better with Phil Campbell out there still making music, and it looks like Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons might be the perfect vessel for him to do so. My only problem with this EP is just that: It's an EP. I'm ready for some more original music from these guys and I hope it won't be too long before we get it.

Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons: Phil Campbell - guitar; Todd Campbell - guitar; Dane Campbell - drums; Tyla Campbell - bass; Neil Starr – vocals.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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