March 4, 2019 Buckcherry – Warpaint (Album Review)
Hey, crazy bitches! Buckcherry are back with their first full-length album in nearly four years. So, are you ready to don your Warpaint? The album arrives on Friday, March 8, 2019, thanks to Red Music.
It’s been almost exactly two decades since the release of Buckcherry’s eponymous debut on April 6, 1999. Six full-length albums have followed since, from 2001’s explosive Time Bomb to 2015’s Rock ‘n’ Roll, cementing the band as one of the most well-known and consistent names in Hard Rock. Despite a nearly three year dissolution and what could have been the end of Buckcherry, along with endless lineup changes, the band have proudly soldiered on for over two decades and the numbers speak for themselves: 2 Top 10 Billboard Top 200 hits; a Gold album (1999’s Buckcherry) as well as a Platinum-certified record (2006’s 15); and over 210 million streams.
For their eighth release, Buckcherry — Vocalist Josh Todd, Guitarists Stevie D. and Kevin Roentgen, Bassist Kelly LeMieux, and Drummer Francis Ruiz — returned to the studio with Producer Mike Plotnikoff (In Flames, All That Remains), who helmed the band’s Platinum-certified 15. While the 12-song collection is not likely to shock any long-time fans, it does have its surprises: including a cover of the Nine Inch Nails’ classic “Head Like A Hole.”
Kiss the night away, sleep all through the day! Warpaint kicks off to its titular track, a guitar-laden groove that goes funky, boldly introducing the album and hooking listeners in. Next, dusty, bluesy vibes anchor the verses of “Right Now,” a track whose choruses explode into gritty stomps. You can say what you like about Buckcherry, but Josh Todd has one of the most distinct voices in Rock-n-Roll today and he’s maintained his instrument throughout the years; this fact is immediately evident from the very first notes of Warpaint.
When the band grind their way into a cover of Nine Inch Nails’ epic classic “Head Like A Hole,” they certainly summon their ferocity and give the song a unique spin all their own; one that is devoid of electronics and places an unadulterated Rock-n-Roll spin on the track. However, let’s be frank: no one is ever going to top that original! Despite this, or perhaps because of it, Buckcherry take liberties to place their own stamp on the material.
Ballad “Radio Song” breaks out the acoustic guitar and allows Todd’s vocals to soar as the band celebrate hearing their favorite song on the radio. If ever there was a song meant for flicking Bics and breaking out those cell phones, this is it: one that will have the entire audience swaying as Buckcherry turn toward their softer side, complete with Stevie D. belting out a beautiful solo.
Lest you begin to worry that the band is going soft, they crank it up for “The Vacuum,” anchored by a fat, bass-heavy groove and featuring another truly killer solo from Stevie D. Then, “Bent” cranks up the pace and goes for the anthemic Rock that we have come to expect from Buckcherry, before “Back Down” kicks off to attitude, dusting its boots in melody as it swears off fucking around. Next up, “The Alarm” goes for a similar vibe with a thick groove that finds Todd sounding that alarm in celebration of the good times we are guaranteed this weekend.
A bit of the band’s Punk influence creeps into the steady beat of the catchy “No Regrets,” while they return to ballad territory with the thick Country influence that permeates the delicate “The Hunger.” Meanwhile, Todd calls for everyone to get wild on the opening notes of rocker-stomper “Closer,” before they go a bit psychedelic for the chaotic intensity of album closer “The Devil’s In the Details.”
To be entirely honest, Buckcherry are very much a known commodity: when you dip into a new offering from the band, you basically know what to expect and Warpaint is no different. Hard-rocking grooves that run a gamut of influences, good times and grit, Josh Todd and his troops always manage to package a rowdy Saturday night into their recordings and that’s no different here. Matured and not all lit up and chasing crazy bitches, the band soar through 12 tracks that show the depth and breadth of their talents — from Todd’s incomparable pipes to Stevie D.’s phenomenally evocative solos. None of these songs are carbon copies and each one packs its own special punch, making Warpaint a well-rounded and solidly entertaining collection. Still hungry for Buckcherry’s catchy brand of Rock-n-Roll, Cryptic Rock give Warpaint 4.5 of 5 stars.