Sound: Buckcherry must have been riding high after the release of their last album Black Butterfly, which included the song that seemed to consistently pop up on ladies' MySpace profiles, Crazy Bitch. It was undoubtedly a catchy song that gained buzz thanks to it's edgy lyrics, and you'll get a few more like it on Buckcherry's latest album Black Butterfly. Granted, the catchiest one might not be entirely radio friendly. Of course, that never really caused a problem when NIN's Closer was released.
The song in the spotlight is Too Drunk, which tells the tale of a gentleman who has had so much to drink that he can't perform in the bedroom. It could easily just be a song with novelty lyrics, but the band backs it up with an equally sleazy, bluesy groove that is the glue for everything. In Too Drunk and pretty much every rock track on Black Butterfly, you get the distinct feeling the band has looked toward the classic rock artists (everyone from AC/DC to Guns N' Roses) and they do a pretty fine job of carrying the torch.
There's a good helping of old fashioned rock tracks and power ballads, and it strikes a pretty good balance. Not all of the playlist grabs your attentions instantly, but there are more than a few where Buckcherry hits it out of the park. The epic song, for lack of a better word, on the album is the closing number Cream. The title might hint at another dirty offering from vocalist Josh Todd and the boys, but this one is the most musically diverse on Black Butterfly. It all begins with only an acoustic and the vocals, then suddenly bursts with a militaristic drum beat against distortion. Eventually you even get some Joe Walsh-like slide solos, and Todd eventually closes it out a cappella. It's beautifully constructed and shows that Buckcherry is capable of writing more than 3-chord rock songs.
The opening track Rescue Me is actually one of the disappointments on the record, if only because it just pales in comparison to the other 11 songs. It's melodically solid but it almost seems purposely written to be a radio single, which it currently is. Dreams is more of a ballad, but it also fails to really make an impression. Thankfully you've got solid tracks like the STP-tinged Talk To Me and the upbeat acoustic offering All Of Me to keep things fresh. // 8
Lyrics: Lyrically speaking, Buckcherry knows how to get your attention. Crazy Bitch earned a cushy spot on the charts likely because of it's raunchy lyrics, and Too Drunk follows in the same footsteps. There's a bit of shock value to it all, but the band is able to find it's sensitive side for a good part of Black Butterfly. In the ballad Don't Go Away Todd sings, Please don't go away; You're making a mistake; You and I were meant to be; You opened up my eyes. It's true that the faster songs tend to be a bit more interesting and quirky, but at least there's a break from the same old sex, drugs, and rock and roll themes. // 7
Overall Impression: It's good to hear Buckcherry still embracing the old school rock vibe, and it definitely works for them. At times guitarists Keith Nelson and Stevie D. do have a very Slash-like vibe, and the solos are often the highlights even if the song as a whole doesn't always work. Definitely check out the guitar work Imminent Bail Out, which features a phenomenal breakdown. A perfect album Black Butterfly is not, but it does prove that Buckcherry still has plenty of life after so many years in the industry. // 8