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Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons – We’re The Bastards Award winner

Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons
We’re The Bastards
by Quinten Serna at 08 January 2021, 10:04 PM

The ever reaching bastardization of the sacrosanct debauchery known as PHIL CAMPBELL AND THE BASTARD SONS has just managed unto the world their sophomore album in full, filled to the brim with enough anecdotes, headbanging riffs, and cathartic musings to satiate even the most callous of cynics.

We’re The Bastards commences with the title track, “We’re The Bastards,” a guitar playing a simple-esque riff commences the introduction which eventually segues to an easy lead-in for the verse’s vocals to join in over a chord which rings out before the main riff commences once more in a start-stop manner—the chorus brings to mind the conception of a big band as the whole of the band joins in. “Son Of A Gun” is noticeably faster than its predecessor bearing a simple but effective main riff that evolves its delivery over the extent of the verse. “Animals” begins on a classic sounding riff so grass-rooted in its progression that it sounds as though it was plucked straight out of the 80s; the bridge detracts completely from the rest of the song creating a catching an immediately noticeable change in form and structure. “Bite My Tongue” is one of the most Rock n’ Roll sounding tracks on the album, interlaced with bouncing progressions, powerful backing powerchords, and a booming chorus. “Desert Song” brings in acoustics and a harmonica to start of the track prior to the band joining in full; the verse repeats the motif of a diminuitive main riff for its progression with the whole of the band increasing in volume and intensity to signify the transitions. “Riding Straight To Hell” has a main riff and progression built entirely on staccato such that each stringed instrument matches in the drums in form and reception; the motorcycle samples within the last verse add another level of depth to the song whose thematic elements all combine during the progression of the final chorus. The penultimate song, “Destroyed,” has a theme and sound focused exclusively on rawness and energy as evidenced by its starting with the natural hum found in an overdriven amp.

The instrumentation is composed of varying different and powerful sounds whose combined fortitude makes the album feel as a wall of force based in Rock and Metal. The guitars are evenly distributed are expertly performed such that they align in great precision but still retain minuscule elements of individuality—the solos found interlaced throughout the album are congruous to each and every track that they’re in, perfectly molded and arranged to their accompanying backing; the bass is the powerhouse and foundation for the whole of the soundscape, being just as prominent by itself as it is with the full fronting of the band inclusive of acoustics and other instruments; the drums are solid and played with exacting strike wherein nothing has any jarring sensation of being too loud, quiet, or even the smallest amount off; and lastly, the vocals fit the music succinctly both capturing the themes of each song as well driving forward the progression for each.

Of great virtue, sound, and perseverance the album is an entity all its own bearing catharsis and determination within every track; that every song has contained within itself—at least in some form or another—the touch of mastery, that sound and sensation which can only come from a musician seasoned by a life of experience; though, each instrument itself has in some manner its own contribution such that the guitar is not the sole bravado, but the shared love and appreciation for Metal and Rock have yielded the opus, We’re The Bastards.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. We’re The Bastards
2. Son Of A Gun
3. Promises Are Poison
4. Born To Roam
5. Animals
6. Bite My Tongue
7. Desert Song
8. Keep Your Jacket On
9. Lie To Me
10. Riding Straight To Hell
11. Hate Machine
12. Destroyed
13. Waves
Tyla Campbell – Bass
Dane Campbell – Drums
Phil Campbell – Guitar
Todd Campbell – Guitar
Neil Starr – Vocals
Record Label: Nuclear Blast


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