Thursday, April 27, 2006

Buckcherry – 15

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Buckcherry – 15

If albums were people, 15 by Buckcherry would be the illegitimate love child spawned from the unholy union of Guns N’ Roses and The Black Crows. Did I mention that mom might have occasionally played slap and tickle with assorted members of the Rolling Stones just for kicks?

The first single from 15 is the over-the-top, creatively named, Crazy Bitch. As alluded to by the title, the lyrics in this song are touchingly poignant, not offensive in the least and perfectly suitable for small children. (editor’s note: the preceding statement may not, in fact, be factual) While lacking in subtlety, the song is definitely fun. It grooves and has a chorus that, while vulgar, I promise you will sing to yourself for days.

The newly reformed Buckcherry have released their third album, 15, following their self titled debut and their sophomore effort, Time Bomb. If your only points of musical reference for Buckcherry are the singles Lit Up and, the above mentioned, Crazy Bitch… you might be in for a bit of a surprise.

In listening to this album, my overall reaction for sometime was...confusion. Taking Crazy Bitch as a given, there are also songs like Sorry, a simple and seeming heartfelt ballad, that appears to be Crazy Bitch’s exact opposite. Further on in the course of the album, you have Broken Glass, that seems almost “punk” in it’s intensity followed by Back In The Day with it’s almost “pop” sensibility.

Don’t get me wrong, there are threads that tie 15 together. Josh Todd’s voice and Keith Nelson’s guitar work permeate this album, but with the addition of and Jimmy Ashhurst on bass, Stevie D. on guitar and Xavier Muriel on drums there’s a certain guitar sound and certain groove that you wouldn’t necessarily associate with a full on rock album. The guitars, for instance, have this really great warm sound that flows from song to song, with the only difference being that sometimes they’re turned up to the fabled “11”.

I really had to think about what this album was for quite a long time. It almost seemed to me that if you started 15 at a random song on the disc, you ended up with a different album all together by the time you were done. The more and more I listened though, I began to think that maybe that was the point all along.

There’s no denying that the guys in Buckcherry are Rockstars. You can hear it in their lyrics and feel it in the music. I also have no doubt that live, they could most likely separate your head from your body in short measure. However, as much as I want to hear Buckcherry turned loose so as to propagate their own special brand of chaos and destruction, I think that 15 is special specifically because they chose not to do that.

The differences from song to song and the changes in feel and tempo all help contribute to an album that is, in essence , different from all the other current rock albums that are being released. Since I used the guitars as an example before, I’ll finish up with them here. If you went with the same crispy, modern guitar sound that everybody else us, you would end up with the same album everyone else has…and this isn’t that album.

You can purchase 15 @

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