September 28, 2010 - Stomp
Glen Matlock left the Sex Pistols after co-writing most of the songs on Never Mind The Bollocks. Since then he’s released multiple solo albums and played with the Faces, Iggy Pop and The Damned. Born Running is his latest effort in a rock ’n’ roll career spanning 30-plus years. With stats like that, you might expect brilliance. But while Born Running is an often-pleasant listen, it’s marred by dumb lyrics and a stubborn affection for slick hard rock.
Glen Matlock & The Philistines work best when they go straight for the shiny sing-alongs, like the infectious “Timebomb” and the lament-loaded “Nowheresville.” But the guitar leads and gang vocals of “Electricity” sound cheesy matched with Matlock’s obvious penchant for radio pop. Brainless lyrics drag some songs down to further depths; take this nugget from the unintentionally hilarious “Yeah Right”: “You think you’re the hottest piece of ass in town.” This tug-of-war between cocky and friendly, heavy and syrupy diminishes the best of both genres, not dirty enough to be badass and not catchy enough to hit repeat.
That said, Born Running ain’t bad, and if you like a bit of sugar with your rock, Matlock does it better than many and has been doing so for years. While it is a confusing and imperfect record, about half its tracks are addictive and fun to listen to. Just be sure to implant your tongue in cheek while doing so.