On the radar: Bastard Sons

Hailing from the northern bastion of York, Bastard Sons pronounce their name in the Ned Stark-style.

Not only is this the most satisfying way to say 'bastard', it also summons useful stereotypes of Yorkshire no‑nonsense-ness.

"That's what I love about the band. It's a metal band, but it's groovy, too - and there are lots of riffs"

"James [Jackson], the singer, came back from university and said, 'I'm going to start a band called The Bastard Sons,'" explains guitarist Alex McNair.

"I met him at a party one night and he said, 'Does anybody play guitar? We've got our first gig in three weeks and our guitarist just quit!' Half-cut, I said, 'Yeah!'"

Release the hounds

EPs and tours have followed, but it's the killer solo on Release The Hounds (from debut album, Smoke, due out on 7 August), that's caught our ear. It's the kind of wailing that you just don't hear in a metal context any more.

"That solo sums up my style," Alex tells us. "It's blues-y and not too complicated - I'm no shredder. But that's what I love about the band. It's a metal band, but it's groovy, too - and there are lots of riffs."

These riffs are duly dished out via a Blackstar HT Club 50 and Tele for co-guitarist Ollie Dykes, while GAS sufferer Alex opts for a Les Paul or ESP single-cut, through a Kemper Profiling Amp.

"It still doesn't sit right that it's not a valve amp," laughs Alex. "But it's one of the best pieces of equipment I've used. And now, live, we can replicate all of the sounds from the album, without having 50 different heads and five pedalboards on stage!"

  • For fans of: Clutch, Red Fang
  • Hear: Release The Hounds

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Matt Parker

Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.