They say you should never judge a book by its cover and, in the case of The Bastard Sons, this statement could not be more true although I will confess that I do not like the name of the band as, for me, it seems to lack imagination. However, the negativity towards this band stops right there as Smoke is quite simply a triumphant outing for the band, an album packed full of deep riffs, chanting gang vocals and top notch singalong choruses.
Opening with ‘The Bastard’, Smoke kicks straight in with exactly what is described above like a headbutt to your senses that you will find hard to forget. Next up is ‘Release The Hounds’ delivering a swift knee to the jaw as you rise following the headbutt of ‘The Bastard’. This song is full of the kind of strong, gritty vocals, heavy drums, deep bass and technical riffs you would expect from the likes of Trivium and even Metallica. As you go down from the knee to the chops from ‘Release The Hounds’, ‘A Lie Is A Lie’ follows up with a sharp kick to the gut leaving you battered on the ground delirious from the previous strike. Once again, this tune is heavy on the riffs and gritty vocals, this time complimented by the rest of the bands gang-style back up vocals.
After the savage beating received from the first three songs, the band allow some breathing space to compose ourselves with ‘Sobre La Muerte’. This track tones the tempo down to a slower pace and, as such is a vast contrast from what has come before. At least that’s how it starts because, despite not reaching the aggression from what we have heard previously, the song is soon filled with those epic riffs and familiar singalong choruses. This song, however, was just a breather to allow us to get up from the beating received before as the metaphorical punches and kicks delivered by The Bastard Sons return with ‘Bottom Of The Ladder’ and continue throughout the rest of the musical beatdown that is Smoke. The penultimate song, ‘Stay True’, is an emotionally charged slow burner featuring Davey Richmond of Glamour Of The Kill and demonstrates, once again, that The Bastard Sons can deliver an alternate style to what has come before.
In all, aside from the bands name, The Bastard Sons have let loose upon the world a truly first rate album which has set the bar high for any of their future releases.
01. The Bastard
02. Release The Hounds
03. A Lie Is A Lie
04. Sobre La Muerte
05. Bottom Of The Ladder
06. I’m Only A Call Away
07. U.S. Against Them
08. Listen Here
09. Cardboard Walls
10. Sciene(ic) Root(s)
11. Stay True (feat. Davey Richmond)
Running Time: 43:45
Release Date: August 7, 2015
Check out the video for ‘Listen Here’ here.