Sunday, June 23, 2024

Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons – Kings Of The Asylum

Following on from the sad loss of Lemmy Kilmister, Phil Campbell .. Lemmy’s sidekick for 30 years .. after a period of adjustment to losing his long-time friend, didn’t have to look too far to recruit musicians for his next project .. they were all living in the same house .. so they formed a band. An amusing apocryphal story claims, that when she learnt the name of her husband’s new band, Phil Campbell’s wife wouldn’t speak to him for the next two days.

Everyone who likes rock music misses Lemmy, but Phil and his merry boys have picked up the baton and are continuing where Motorhead left off. Given what and how this band plays, comparisons with Motorhead are probably inevitable, but they’re proving themselves to be worthy successors to the space left vacant, not as a tribute band, but as a band more than capable of carving out their own niche in the market. 

Kings Of The Asylum is the band’s third full studio album and it contains eleven relatively short tracks, all of which pack a mighty punch. It consists of some of their strongest material to date and is laden with plenty of pace, some good melodies, strong hooks and riffs. In sum, with no frills or pretensions, it’s a damn good, solid rock album.

‘Walking In Circles’ is as powerful an opener as you could wish for, and it’s a great taster for what’s to follow. ‘Too Much Is Never Enough’ is more in the Motorhead vein, being a full-tilt rocker, and it’s no great leap of the imagination to hear Lemmy singing this. There are several other tracks in the same vein, with ‘The Hunt’ being pure undistilled Motorhead with its fast pounding drums and driving guitars, as is ‘Show No Mercy,’ another powerful rocker though not quite as fast. ‘No Guts! No Glory!’ is even a Motorhead title “.. you wish for peace as I prepare for war”. Title track ‘Kings Of The Asylum’ has a slow, almost bluesy riff with lyrics protesting about how the greed of the few harms the needs of the many. Maniac could well become a stage favourite, with its chorus of  “f-u-c-k, I just wanna say fuck you to” which comes the reply “oh oh, fuck you too”.

This is a beast of an album, full of high-octane rock that shakes you warmly by the throat from the first notes and rarely loosens its grip till right up to the last notes.

Laurence Todd
Laurence Todd
Took early retirement after many years as a teacher in order to write books as well as about music. A long-time music obsessive, has wide and eclectic tastes but particularly likes prog rock and rock in general. Enjoys going to gigs and discovering new acts.

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Following on from the sad loss of Lemmy Kilmister, Phil Campbell .. Lemmy’s sidekick for 30 years .. after a period of adjustment to losing his long-time friend, didn’t have to look too far to recruit musicians for his next project .. they were...Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons - Kings Of The Asylum