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Buckcherry - 15 Review

by Travis Becker

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Buckcherry provided a dose of something entirely different when their debut album shot up the charts in 1999 on the strength of hit singles like "Lit Up" and "For the Movies". The band joined the LA glam metal styling of Guns N Roses to a modern sound that was just right for modern rock radio in a shotgun wedding celebrating sex, tattoos, and of course, "the cocaine." The band struggled to maintain momentum under the leadership of the unpredictable Josh Todd, and after one more album the band imploded with Todd moving on to begin a solo career. Well, perhaps banking on the name recognition of his former band, Todd is back with a new Buckcherry and a new album, but pretty much the same old sound.

From the first riffs of "So Far", on new album 15, it's clear that Buckcherry hasn't missed a beat since Timebomb in 2001. If anything, some of the unrestrained rawness of that record has been trimmed away in favor of a smoother, more radio-ready sound like that on their self-titled debut. Along with the first track, "Next 2 You" and "Out of Line" are ready for the FM dial, with a little creative editing of course. Well placed profanity and tales of Hollywood lust and debauchery still make up the band's bread and butter and will help their cause as before. If anything the sound is a little more subdued even than the debut, but the poppier and experimental leanings of Todd's solo record are gone, in favor of the bands signature riffed out Rock style.

Todd steals the show, of course, with his juiced up screams and petulant pleading. He's just one of those characters that belong in a band, an LA band to be specific. "Crazy Bitch", while not radio material is the kind of song in which Todd seems to feel the most comfortable. Original Buckcherry guitarist, Keith Nelson produces and his input behind the boards and on guitar helps Todd to stay focused and avoid the scattershot pitfalls of his solo album. Well-placed strings and pretty good pacing make the record a pretty good listen overall, but it does drag just a bit in the middle. Nelson also throws some mean soloing into the mix for good measure. To their credit, the band achieves the big sounds and the hooky songs they're known for without a big time producer like Terry Date to get it out of them.

Buckcherry does what they do best on 15. While you could say that the band just doesn't really break any new ground, you could also make a case for the fact that they're sitting in the same hole they were in on their debut, only without a gigantic track like "Lit Up" to sell it to the masses. "Everything" sounds a little bit too much like "For the Movies" and "Crazy Bitch" could be roughly equivalent to "Dirty Mind". Not reinventing the wheel is one thing, but driving around in circles is quite another.

Either way, the band should find many of their fans, who were thrown from the train when it derailed a few years ago, still waiting for them as they pull back past the station. But, if you own Buckcherry, and haven't played it in a while. let's just say you could save yourself a few bucks and leave it at that. The world probably needs a guy to fill the crazed, tattooed, drugged-out, hip-wiggling rock and roll frontman role, though, and as Davy Jones is now on Broadway and Axl can't seem to get his act together, Josh Todd should fill in as well as anyone.


CD Info and Links

Buckcherry - 15

Label:Eleven Seven
Rating:

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Rocknworld.com: Buckcherry - Buckcherry Special Edition Review

Jealous Haters Since 1998!
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Buckcherry - Buckcherry Special Edition Review

by Dan Upton

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So, Buckcherry kinda came out of nowhere to record and release 15 earlier this year after having basically fallen off the face of the planet for 5 years. And in a time of reissues, what better way to capitalize on their second coming than to re-release their debut CD 7 years after the fact?

Of course, even if you happened to have purchased the debut back in 1999 or 2000, and even if it's managed to collect the normal wear and tear scratches over those 6 or 7 years, the labels (apparently) know better than to think you'd pay good money for exactly the same thing you already had. So, with that in mind, the special edition includes along with the original CD a DVD containing 7 videos and 3 extra audio tracks.

Before I get to complainin', I'd like to say that, believe it or not, these tracks stand the test of time. Y'know, at least on the sleaze-rock time line, anyway. The songs that I don't remember liking much the first go-round haven't managed to turn from coal to diamond, but it's hard not to still get into the infectious groove of tracks like "Lit Up" or to sing along with "Check Your Head." The bonus tracks, "Late Nights in Voodoo" from the "Dead Again" promo and "Fastback '69" from the Australian "For The Movies" EP, are decent enough, although it's not surprising that they missed the cut for the original release. And having the videos is pretty cool, all of the original videos for songs from this CD along with a couple of live videos and an alternate video for "For The Movies."

Now, my primary issue with the design of this release is that the bonus audio only exists on the DVD. I don't have any problems with hybrid discs that have audio in CD audio format on one side and DVD on the other, or maybe if it had the files in some digital audio format on the DVD as well...but no. Or maybe the CD was full...nope, the original CD was roughly 49 minutes, and the three extra tracks add up to around another 14 minutes; as I recall, CDs can be 74 or 80 minutes, so I don't think that's the problem either. So, for whatever reason, if you want to listen to the bonus tracks, your options are to be tied to an entertainment center with a DVD player, figure out a way to convert them to a usable audio format yourself, or head out to the interwebs and find somebody else who's already taken care of that part for you.

It's primarily for that reason that I can't score this package as highly as I otherwise might. If you liked them before and never got around to picking this one up, or need to replace a scratched one, it's worthwhile; if you're just now hearing of Buckcherry courtesy "Crazy Bitch," then it's a good time to go back and pick this up as well. Just be prepared to be frustrated that you can't easily rock out to "Fastback 69" in your car.


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Buckcherry - Buckcherry Special Edition

Label:Geffen
Rating:

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