Buckcherry – Hellbound (Album Review)

Buckcherry is guaranteed to light up your ears, and life, with their latest, Hellbound, which arrived on Friday, June 25, 2021 thanks to Roundhill Records.

As dedicated fans know, the Los Angeles based Buckcherry has been making Hard Rock music since 1995—with a brief break between 2002 and 2005. Known for their energetic live performances, their easygoing Rock-n-Roll is known to pull listeners on to the dancefloor as well as to set many a mind at ease… sometimes both at the same time. Led by the distinctive voice of Josh Todd, joining him are long time Guitarist Stevie D., Bassist Kelly LeMieux, along with newest members Francis Ruiz on drums and Billy Rowe on lead guitar. Restock with talent, can these raucous rockers prove they still have the fire to create inspired Rock music all these years later? 

Their ninth studio offering, Hellbound, is composed of 10 tracks and it lasts for an enjoyable thirty-six minutes. Opening with “54321,” they prepare you for take-off with an announcement and countdown before the proper Rock-n-Roll sets in. This comes in the form of “So Hott,” a catchy song that will cause you to tap along as the chorus gets trapped inside your head. Equally infectious, soon to follow are “Hellbound” and “Gun.” With rich arrangements present from start to finish, even if the music is being used as background noise to fill the silence, it is guaranteed to enter your mind and demand your attention.

Meanwhile, some songs have very personal and intimate lyrics, especially “No More Lies” and “Wasting No More Time.” Each causes the heart to ache thanks to slow and smooth rhythms coupled with lyrics that provoke deeper thought. That said, most of the tracks are fast and thriving Rock songs. Featuring a signature Buckcherry vibe, they are loaded with energy that will cause you to move along and even sing-along to some choruses. That careful balance between the slower offerings and fast moments is maintained, ensuring that the album never gets boring. Plus, with each repeat listen, there is is something new to focus on. 

In fact, the urge to hit ‘repeat’ is ensured when you reach the conclusion with “Barricade” and the album ends quite abruptly. Neither volume nor rhythm fades out, causing the track to conclude almost out of nowhere; and suddenly you are sitting in silence. A  peculiar ending, only a little over a half hour of music, why not hit the play button for another go around! 

It has been 22 years since Buckcherry’s eponymous debut, so it is really no shock that their music feels instantly comfortable—like an old friend. If you are a long time fan, at this point you can hear that writing music comes naturally to the band; their passion is present in each and every track on the album. Clearly Buckcherry is a band still has the fire and knows how to touch the heart while bringing the heat. Hard not to love a Rock band like this, Cryptic Rock gives Hellbound 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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