Buckcherry - 15

Can somebody please tell me what power on earth makes a band stop and say to each other "Oh, hey, ya know what would be a killer song to do a cover of??? "Pump It Up"!!! I bet nobody has done that one yet!" Please, somebody explain. Are some bands under contract to do an Elvis Costello cover, and thereby only being able to remember three songs, "Pump It Up", "Watching The Detectives" and probably "Veronica", they finally decide to go with the "easy"/"ROCKER" tune? Yes, whatever the reason, Buckcherry treats us all to another version of the song. Thankfully though they placed it at the end of the disc, and I am pretty damn sure I will not get to it ever again after the initial listen.

Buckcherry has always been an odd band for me. They were one of the first bands I heard on MP3.com, back when that site would actually have a cool band now and then, and it was free. I heard "Lit Up" on there, and I loved them. Then I got the album, and it happened for the first time. I heard the first song, liked it a bunch, by about the fourth song I was getting a little bored, so I started listening to the lyrics, which was a big mistake. Then a ballad rolled out, and I scratched my head. By the end of the disc I was really sick of it all.

Then the second album hit, and it was all the same thing over again.

Then they disappeared and I didn't notice. Josh Todd danced with a solo project. I skipped it.

Then they reformed, and I skipped it again even though I had heard a lot of positive things. Nothing in the press really praised it, at least not that I saw, but word of mouth from the people who really matter, the fans, not the critics. Then it was sent to me. I had to listen.

It kicks off with a pure, full fire breathing tune with a great riff, great roaring voice with Todd sounding like he has a point to get across, and you had better listen to what he says. I started out kicking myself for not listening to what people had been saying.

'Next 2 You' came on and I was really enjoying myself. It's a good bluesy rock number with a cool strut to it. I was really starting to wish I had been listening all along. Really, I was. 'Out of Line' is a mix of Bon Jovi and AC/DC. But this is where I start to lose interest. Something about when they stop going all out with ROCK that my mind starts to wander.

'Everything' makes me think of what Matchbox 20 would be doing if they did an 80's type of thing, and then decided to really rock it out. Meaning it still lacks a punch during the more "rocky" part. And for me, by now, I am wandering far away from the disc mentally. So that when the ballad 'Carousel' starts, I'm pretty much ready to shut the damn thing off. They tore it up on the first two, mellowed out for 3, and then went total pop/ballad/mush for the following two. People were raving about the "intensity" of this?

Ah, but that wasn't the true ballad. No, that comes with song 6. I guess 'Carousel' was the "Power Ballad". Song 6 is called "Sorry" and Josh lets us know he's sorry he's "bad". Ugh!

But wait, on song 7 he's all "up on" a 'Crazy Bitch'. Hmmm, what? Let's go back and listen to heartfelt message of 'Carousel' and then 'Sorry' again…now, what was this about the "Crazy Bitch" that "Fucks so good" that he's "On top of it". Christ, if I go see these guys and they do a "let the audience sing the chorus" to this song, I'm going to kill somebody. Stupid lyrics, dumb gimmick song.

The rest of the album moves at a decent enough rock pace, with enough hooks to keep the Buckcherry fan happy. Though there is one blues tune in there. But in all reality, if you want this to be a "party album" you will need to edit it so that songs 3-6 disappear, or else you'll have to announce that it's time for "slow dance".

Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking a band doing ballads, but why do many, and why so close to the beginning?

I also must have the UK version of the album here, as the US listing only shows 11 songs. This one has 13, one of which is the aforementioned "Pump It Up"…lucky UK kids.

I might be the wrong guy to review a band like Buckcherry, as they never really worked for me too well, and by my feeling the same about this one as their others, I am guessing that if you like the band, then this is a sure-fire must have for you. I don't know why they don't work for me, by all rationale they should. But something just misses.

by Carl Isonhart

NB. From Spice D. (I sent Carl a copy of the Japanese release... note the 13 songs) *tehehe! Sorry Carl :)

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