A staple English rock ‘n’ roll album
Phil Campbell and The Bastard Sons were formed after the passing of Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister, who was best known as the founder, bassist, lead vocalist, lyricist and composer of the disbanded English rock band Motörhead. Since then, ex-Motörhead lead guitarist, Phil Campbell, formed the band Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons with his three sons in 2016. The band’s second album, We’re The Bastards, is packed with powerful, energetic English rock songs.
The first third of the album is the epitome of rock ‘n’ roll. The riffs are heavy and lively, and the drum beats are pronounced. Notably, the drum fills are always appropriate and never overdone. “Son Of A Gun” and “Promises Are Poison” are carried by excellent (but surprisingly long) guitar solos. Both of these songs seem to lean more towards heavy metal, particularly “Son Of A Gun.” In addition to the musical elements mentioned above, “Son Of A Gun” utilizes the Tyla Campbell’s bass mastery to great effect. The groovy bass solo creates a satisfying contrast with the rest of the album’s more stereotypically straightforward rock and roll sound.
The next third of the album is also equipped with an arsenal of fierce riffs. The speed of “Animals” again recalls the group’s classic heavy metal influences. Again, a relatively long yet passionate guitar solo is present in the song. Towards its end, there is a chromatic ascension of guitar riffs while the vocal melody stays on the same key. This section, which would betray the listener’s expectation, has a distinctive flavor of dissonance. Like most of the songs on this album, the following song “Bite My Tongue” features a very groovy guitar riff and an expressive guitar solo. “Desert Song” concludes the body of the project with a moderate pace, and the introduction of a harmonica that leans into a blues-inspired style.
The blasting, vibrant riffs last throughout the rest of the album, with the exception of “Waves.” “Waves” is perhaps the most dynamic and creative song out of this album. It begins with a groovy bassline, contrasted with relaxing vocals and clean guitar arpeggios. Followed by a sentimental guitar solo, the song ends with an unexpectedly vigorous outro. It is a simply marvelous way to conclude the album.
All in all, We’re the Bastards is a straightforward rock ‘n’ roll album that genuinely and effectively incorporates the finest rock elements. The caveats, however, are bland and juvenile lyrics, mediocre vocals and deficiencies in variation. There are too many songs that are similar to each other in terms of both ambience and structure. Furthermore, the absence of dynamics is concerning, but the audio quality of the songs themselves is commendable. Although We’re The Bastards is too long for what it provides, the album has certainly provided a few exceptional songs that are sure to be enjoyable for many rock fans.