Words: Craig Hartranft
I can remember the first and last Buckcherry album I bought and listened to. It was the 1999 self-titled debut album. Holy shiite, that's sixteen years ago. I recall their approach to hard rock as trying to revisit and resurrect the late Eighties hard rock, akin to GnR, that got decimated by grunge. What I don't recall is if I was impressed or not. I guess not because until now, with their seventh album Rock N Roll, I haven't given them much thought.
And if you haven't either, now's a good time check in with Buckcherry. First, it takes some cojones to name your album Rock N Roll. It appears to be somewhat of a reaction to Gene Simmons comments of late that rock n roll is dead in America. Then again, if this album doesn't rock, Buckcherry just shot themselves in their collective feet. But rock it does.
From the start, with Bring It On Back, you get classic American melodic hard rock that does indeed hearken back to Eighties glory days. While rather enticing, it's not the best song here. The following Tight Pants, a typical Buckcherry lusty ode to chicks, is a rockin' groove monster complete with a horn section. Sex and sax. Can't beat that. Another lascivious rock behemoth is Sex Appeal, where the rhythm section, bass and drums, lay down this infectious beat and groove for this fast paced song. After this other rockers include the raucous Get With It, speedy riff heavy The Madness, and Wood, with some solid gang vocals in a dense arrangement.
Alternatively, there some additional variety. Wish To Carry On, while definitely hard rock, puts the melody and harmony more forward, notably in the chorus, giving the song a bit more of an AOR feel. Then there's two ballads with The Feeling Never Dies and Rain's Falling, both of which having a subtle blues feel. As a final remark, as any good hard rock album should have, there's plenty of ripping guitar solos to be found throughout.
Fundamentally, as a whole, I think Buckcherry hit the target they were aiming for: this is a rock n roll album. Certainly, and unfortunately, it's also something that probably won't make a ripple in the American mainstream music industry or listening audience. Too many youngsters listening auto-tuned pop and rap crap. But I'll bet you folks in UK and Europe will dig it.
Fundamentally, as a whole, I think Buckcherry hit the target they were aiming for: this is a rock n roll album. Certainly, and unfortunately, it's also something that probably won't make a ripple in the American mainstream music industry or listening audience. Too many youngsters listening auto-tuned pop and rap crap.
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