Former Motörhead axeman Phil Campbell has returned with The Bastard Sons to release their fifth studio album, Kings of the Asylum.
Opening at full force with Walking in Circles, Campbell gets straight to business, with fast riffs mixed with Joe Peters’ best vocals.
Using a similar tone, Too Much Is Never Enough makes a good follow-up to the opening track and the energy continues but this time with a very catchy “tick tick tick tock” in the chorus that’s a real earworm.
Hammer and Dance takes a different tack. It’s not as fast-paced as the previous tracks, but it’s the monstrous drumming by Dane Campbell that really brings the song together along with a very nice guitar solo midway.
Strike the March is a song about breaking the rules to set yourself free, saying you should pay more attention when you are “hearing the voices in your head”. The lyrics are great, a real call to action against yourself when you’re your own worst enemy, and how you should take matters into your own hands, telling you to “start a fire”.
Schizophrenia is all about “losing communication with all reality”, and has an opening that clearly makes you imagine you are moshing in the middle of a pit circle just to scream mid-song with your fist in the air “schizophrenia!!”.
Then we have the track that gives the album its name Kings of Asylum, the most unique track of all, with a bluesy sound alternating with heavier riffs. If you remove Joe Peter’s vocals and close your eyes, you can feel a little of AC/DC‘s influence, especially in the bass and drums.
The Hunt is pure rough rock, and it’s perhaps the most Motörhead-sounding thing Phil Campbell has released since the departure of the great Lemmy Kilmister. The start is very Ace of Spades and the drums are very Orgasmatron, with some unreal quick guitar solos in between to make this track an instant favourite for metal fans. A killer of a song!
Show No Mercy is fast, like most of the songs on the album, starting with lyrics stating, “no point to knock me down, I’m here to make a stand…gotta do this for myself” and “face your fears one by one” with a catchy chorus that simply says “Get up! Get up!”. If this song doesn’t fill you with energy, you probably need to get yourself checked out.
Ghosts is what its name implies, a song about supernatural things asking you if you are “superstitious” when you feel “something lurking”. This is maybe the most hair-metal or pop rock song of the album, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad one at all.
No Guts! No Glory! and Maniac take a more punk rock approach, with the latter comically flush with the F-word.
Like ’80s rock? The bonus track Monster has you covered. Very Mötley Crüe-ish, fast, energetic and overall fun to listen to.
If you like old-school rough rock and roll, then Kings of the Asylum is for you. It will make you feel like you are in a small pub or music venue like the Manning Bar and The Corner Hotel or the Rainbow, or the iconic Whiskey in the US discovering your next favourite rock band.
OUT SEPTEMBER 1st
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