Review by Ellen Eldridge
Fans on the bus with Buckcherry know the band for its rock appeal; the down and dirty life one would expect from a fast-soloing, hard living group of guys.
And I may have always been running behind the bus unsure if I wanted on or not. I’ve seen Buckcherry open for Guns N’ Roses; I watched as frontman Josh Todd wiggled and cavorted while sputtering stories about crazy bitches blowing his brother. I was certainly entertained, and I’ve raced through open highway lanes with the radio full blast during “Crazy Bitch.” I’ll admit to all that.
But did the band do it for me? Would I sing Buckcherry’s praises if I listened to the full sixth studio album? I mean, I hadn’t spent much time delving deeply into the songs because they didn’t seem like the kind of thing that would hold me past the superficial “rock” attitude.
And now comes Confessions, and on the first time I really sat down to listen to Buckcherry, I’m blown away that more exists beneath the surface! The first thing I noticed was that the tracks are titled after the seven deadly sins, but not in order. The effect had me going back over the track list trying to remember if “The Truth” was a deadly sin or not.
Todd’s own inner demons may surface in these songs; bluesy solos rip like a party girl dancing on a table top, but the lyrics and underlying instrumental currents betray the toll the rock lifestyle takes. “Greed is the answer…when you gunna make a stand” and similar lyrical ideas draw out the battle between a fun-loving life and the depression that inevitable sets in when one longs for more substance in interpersonal relationships.
“Greed” is followed by “Water,” in which Todd sings, “We are like water when I connect with you.” Well, we all know how thick water runs and the sexually explicit ideas make for an exciting song, but the intricate identity exposed in that line shows that something is missing. These deeper and more unbalanced ideas propel the connection between songwriter and fans because average rock fans only wish to identify with songs about crazy bitches who get off on getting them off.
People truly can connect to the ideas on Confessions; the darker and inevitably hollow themes of living, loving and losing.
Buckcherry can call me a fan for its well thought-out album that manages to compel as much as excite. The rock and pop can keep you dancing while the lyrics can really open your mind and make you grateful you’re not a touring musician.
Released February 19 on Century Media Records