This ‘Bastard Son’ review was written by Tim Jones, a GIGsoup contributor
The Bastard Sons are angry. Very angry. What made them this way? It certainly can’t be where they come from. They hail from York, one of the least angry cities in Britain.
Perhaps the city’s Viking past is to blame? This would explain the similarities with Norwegian Band, Kvelertak, which are evident on this full-length debut.
Like Kvelertak, The Bastard Sons have fused punk and metal together and come up with something quite original. There are quite growly vocals at points, but the Sons eschew the direction of their Scandinavian cousins by injecting a decent amount of melody into their singing.
‘Smoke’ opens with track ‘The Bastard’. There is a definite grooviness which remains throughout the album, making it quite reminiscent of Corrosion of Conformity or even Cathedral at times.
This album certainly isn’t one for pigeonholers and it would be nigh on impossible to classify it without inventing a whole new genre.
‘Smoke’ is a triumph in what can be achieved by not following what everyone else is doing. The Bastard Sons could easily be 2015’s surprise package. It’s hard to pick out the ultimate highlight from this album, as pretty much everything on it is guaranteed to start a moshpit. At just over a minute, ‘U.S. Against Them’ is a snappy, hardcore-type blast that bowls you straight over, easily getting the nod for best track.
The one anomaly on the album is ‘Stay True’, which is as close to a ballad as The Bastard Sons will come. It’s not their ‘Nothing Else Matters’ by any stretch and sounds a little more like a spooky, Irish folk song. It’s not bad by any means, but it doesn’t quite fit the template they’ve laid out for the rest of the album.Still, it’s more than a challenge to listen to this album only once.
In the digital age it’s refreshing to see some bands still making albums that would fit on one side of a C90 cassette and if you were to do that with Smoke you’d wear the tape out in under a week. ‘Smoke’ is available now via Kaiju Records.