This brings me to today’s band; BUCKCHERRY. The Californian rockers have been going for quite some time now and, I first heard of them back in 2001 when I discovered a track called “Slammin’”. It was a great, rock ‘n’ roll track and even though I was more concerned about Nu Metal at the time, I still enjoyed it for what it was. Fast forward a couple of years however, and I’m reintroduced to Buckcherry, as we come to arguably one of the worst successful rock songs ever recorded; “Crazy Bitch”. Seriously this song is 100% cringe in every conceivable way…everyone gives NICKELBACK a hard time when this fucking song exists, what are we doing like?! It’s AWFUL. Anyway needless to say, I was put off Buckcherry…I can’t be dealing with that, nope, no Sir, no thank you. BUT, in the interest of equality (And the fact that you chose them on my last readers choice poll you evil bunch of bastards) I’m going to give them another chance…earlier this year they released album number eight; “Warpaint”, and I’m on the front line prepared to do battle…come at me brah!
The album opens up with the title track and to be perfectly honest; it’s really not bad. It keeps things nice and simple to be fair, incorporating blues-based hard rock with a southern groove and some sleek guitar licks. The solo blends in well allowing the track to flow really smoothly without sounding jarring, it’s not been thrown in the mix ‘just because’ like some solo’s, actually adding to the track, and Josh Todd’s vocals while still distinct, are a touch subdued here, giving off a mellower vibe. It’s actually a decent little opener. If you do prefer mellow, “Right Now” initially has you covered as it continues with the light blues rock inspired guitar tone but strips back to a more acoustic-based delivery, although the chorus is far livelier and, remember what I said about solo’s? Yep…this one came out of nowhere quicker than you can say Randy Orton, and the song can’t seem to decide what it wants to be.
Let’s try and remain objectively positive though shall we and look at the highlights…”No Regrets” is a quirky little up-beat punk-rock inspired piece; it’s fun, it’s light-hearted and you can’t not enjoy this…from the clap-along segments, the tinny, rockabilly guitar stylistics and general skater-rock vibe, it’s just a happy track and at under 3-minutes, it’s an easy highlight. Closing track “The Devil’s In The Details” remains up-beat but returns to a more straightforward hard rocking / classic rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic with a fine riff carrying the track. “The Vacuum” raises a chuckle from me to be honest as in a funny twist of irony, it doesn’t completely suck. The riffs are solid and there’s an enjoyable melody layered throughout the track, resulting in quite an emotive listen, especially with Josh again holding back vocally, but the real highlight and frankly surprising inclusion here is a cover of NINE INCH NAILS classic “Head Like A Hole”. Granted it’s not the same seething, industrial behemoth crafted by the vitriolic Trent Reznor, but the bass-heavy riffs still sound powerful here and it’s a great choice of cover; it’s a quality track to be fair and it’s done justice. Is it as good as MILEY CYRUS’ cover on Black Mirror though? I’ll let you reach your own conclusions there…
The rest of the album simply plods along really quite anonymously to be perfectly honest. “Radio Song” is a clichéd little acoustic piece with rich string-sections clearly aimed at finding commercial airplay while being both incredibly self-aware and taking a subtle swipe at the mainstream, while “The Alarm” isn’t going to be waking anyone up in a hurry. Its’ slow pace and generally lethargic instrumentation makes for a predominantly boring listen, while Josh’s vocals come across as too much for the pace of the track at times, he’s shouting over it almost and it’s a bit off. Overall though I have to admit, it’s not a terrible album, not by any means…”Crazy Bitch” was quite a while ago now and I can’t hold on to these grudges forever, and while I do still hate that song with a burning passion, this album is fine, they seemed to have calmed down a bit, which I’m all for. I mean, just think, Josh Todd could have done something ridiculous like, release a god-awful, embarrassing rap-rock/dub album, undoing any and all regained credibility I’ve just found in the band, couldn’t he! Wait…what? Who are SPRAYGUN WAR? Oh for fuck’s sake…