Wednesday 14 July 2021

Buckcherry - Hellbound (2021)

Country: USA
Style: Hard Rock
Rating: 7/10
Release Date: 25 Jun 2021
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Buckcherry are one of those reliable modern day rock bands whose albums are almost guaranteed to be worth listening to. This one certainly is. The question becomes less about whether it's good or not and more about how good it is. This one's good and I've enjoyed my way through it a few times but I'd be wary about calling it great. I think I need to wait to see if any of these songs are playing in my head when I wake up a few days from now. If they are, then that'll elevate this in my esteem.

I think the best candidate for that right now is Gun, because it has a unusual and memorable chorus, a simple but very sassy thing that I could imagine Steven Tyler singing. No More Lies is another decent possible, because it adds a neat groove that's as much Led Zeppelin as it is Aerosmith, combining a good old fashioned blues rock base during the verses, that would be more reminiscent of the Stones had Todd delivered a less party vocal, with a reggae guitar that comes out to play during the bridge, reminding very much of D'yer Mak'er.

There's certainly more here than just catchy rock songs. 54321 and So Hott open things up in a garage rock vein, stripped down and immediate, while Hellbound smooths things up and Gun sasses them up. After the reggae of No More Lies, Here I Come goes back to basics but with even more of a punky sort of alternative vibe. Junk goes back to basics in a different direction, bringing AC/DC into that alt rock attitude, as well as an Extreme-esque funk angle too. Wasting No More Time shifts towards southern rock.

The most interesting song to me is the last one, Barricade, because it feels more unusual and it would be far from fair for me to label it as simply as everything I did in the prior paragraph. It's constructed carefully and with definite intent but it feels loose, right down to the drums of Francis Ruiz not doing what we expect them to do. I like this one a lot, more than anything else here except those potential earworms, Gun and No More Lies. However, there's nothing I don't like.

The only time I was disappointed, it wasn't the fault of the band in the slightest. That's The Way, which is a decent enough ballad, even if it doesn't take hold emotionally the way I think they want it to. The problem I have is that Josh Todd, who attempts to comes across as sympathetic and honest, reminds a lot in this approach of Aussie pianist and comedian Tim Minchin, so I'm expecting clever lyrics, humour and misdirection, none of which this song intends to deliver. So, that's not a favourite track for me, but it might be for you because you might not have heard Tim Minchin yet, you poor soul.

So, this was good stuff immediately and it remains good stuff after a few listens. I'm interested in if it will grow over the next few days. Watch this space. In the meantime, if you like Buckcherry, you'll like this.

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