Glen Matlock & the Philistines - Born Running (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Glen Matlock & the Philistines

Born Running (2010)


Most know Glen Matlock as the original bassist for the Sex Pistols, who was either booted or left of his own volition depending on who you ask, and eventually replaced with the late John Simon Ritchie a.k.a. Sid Vicious. But Matlock has also put in work with bands like the Damned, the Rich Kids, Iggy Pop and the Faces in his 35 years making music. Here, he combines with members of Chelsea, Generation X, the Rich Kids, the Stereophonics, Public Image Ltd and the Higsons for Glen Matlock & the Philistines' Born Running.

Like many of the more recent albums by former punk originators (Carbon/Silicon, X, etc.), Born Running takes essentially a straight-ahead rock approach comparable to big guitar Americana like Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band with steady, energetic rhythms and palm mutes to channel the punk of yesteryear. So, then, it's not altogether unsurprising to hear traces of Boss devotees like the Hold Steady and the Gaslight Anthem in the booming choruses and guitar licks.

The best songs on Born Running emanate a warm, glowing radiance of major scales and electric organs and choruses that seem to bubble out of the speakers. Nowhere is this more evident than on "Way to Go", which not only packs a punchy verse and chorus, but is aided by the same "ba-ba-ba-baba" backing vocal pattern as Against Me!'s "Thrash Unreal" and Yo La Tengo's "Tom Courtenay". Similarly, "Nowheresvile", "Timebomb" and the closer "Somewhere Somehow" all achieve the same catchy, nostalgia-inducing rock and roll.

There are a few songs slightly off the mark, like "Rock Chick", which repeats "You're such a little rock chick, ain't that what you are? / Such a little rock chick and you're so spectacular." "T.R.O.U.B.L.E." is a decent tune, but ends up sounding almost like a carbon copy of Rocket from the Crypt's "Trouble" due to the orthographic devices employed.

Glen Matlock co-wrote 10 of the 12 songs off Never Mind the Bollocks..., but don't expect to hear any sloppy, angst-ridden punk rock on Born Running. For polished, catchy, American-influenced guitar rock, though, Glen Matlock and company hit the spot with hooks to boot here.