Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons: Self Titled EP (Motörhead Music)
The long-time Motörhead legend has not sat idly by since the passing of his Captain, almost a year ago. Changing the name of his band to the Bastard Sons (from the All-Star Band - Ed) may not have gone down well with Mrs Campbell, but it probably serves the band well. Their non-stop touring has honed their skills and this five track EP is a groove fest of high quality rock ‘n’ roll with the bluesy undertones that Campbell’s guitar playing always added to the Motörhead sound. It’s party rock, well-crafted with Neil Starr’s dirty vocals spot on.
Lighter than much of his previous work, the stomp of Spiders, the American sleaze of Take Aim and opener Big Mouth all demand you to move your feet and bang that head. Phil’s three lads are a tight unit, Dane and Tyler laying down the rhythm whilst Todd adds to the old man’s superb guitar work with his own axe. No Turning Back has the pace of the Motörhead of old but moves away from being a straight forward replica in any way whilst the acoustic closer Life In Space demonstrates a much gentler side to a man renowned for turning everything up to 11. Life in an old dog for definite. I like this a lot. 8/10
Rik Emmett & Resolution 9: RES 9 (Provogue Records)
In the guitar world, Rik Emmett is an absolute legend. One of the founders of power trio Triumph, who he left in 1988, his discography is impressive with a variety of styles from rock to flamenco and all stations in between. RES 9 is his latest release and very eclectic it is too. Predominantly blues based, with guest appearances from Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson and Dream Theater’s James LaBrie, it’s a relaxing listen with some stunning guitar work from the main man.
Some of the tracks are ghastly, namely the hideous My Cathedral but the blues soaked The Ghost Of Shadow Town and the brilliant funk infused End Of The Line (which features a storming performance from LaBrie and Lifeson’s dazzling guitar) make the god bothering palatable. The bonus track sees Emmett reunited with Triumph band mates Gil Moore and Mike Levine for the first time since 1987. Grand Parade is a mellow tune, and you can take your pick about whether it is the softer side of former glories or a just a bit gut churning. Very much an album for the muso and diehard fan. 6/10
Robert Pehrsson Humbucker: Long Way To The Light (High Roller)
Robert Pehrsson is a Swedish guitarist, singer and song writer who has been in a multitude of bands since he started recording in the late 1980s. His history includes thrash and death metal but that is very much history. Long Way To The Light is a solo release which sits very much in the genre of ‘classic rock’ (which appears to have become a thing now). With a sound that contains elements of Thin Lizzy, Pat Benatar and even a bit of The Cars, its very much aimed at the AOR market. It does it very well, combining some excellent guitar work with melody and harmony. It’s a bit cheesy at times but overall a perfectly listenable inoffensive release. 7/10