Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll have been the common theme on many Buckcherry albums and this time around they are confessing it with their sixth album, “Confessions.”
Lead vocalist Josh Todd has made this album personal by telling his life story with each song. “Confessions” deals with the tales of fighting drug problems, relationship issues and life itself. But even with the dark emotions each theme brings, the band stays true to its character with energetic songs.
Buckcherry hit the mainstream rock scene in 2006 with singles like “Crazy Bitch,” “Sorry” and “Everything” off their third studio album “15.” Since then the diversity in the band was not changed much. Unlike many other bands that have experimented with new sounds and instruments, Buckcherry has stuck to what they know best.
Some bands find that it is important to reinvent themselves to stay prominent. For Buckcherry, they have still been able to find success even without much change. Their last album “All Night Long” debuted at No. 10 on the Top Billboard Top 200 album chart and was the No. #1 Rock debut.
Even with the success “All Night Long” brought the band, they have yet to debut a single as strong as the ones “15” produced. “Confessions” may be the album to end that drought with their first single “Gluttony.” With a nostalgic rock anthem sound, like something out of a Motley Crue album, “Gluttony” is the standout track and one of the band’s greatest songs. Its high tempo, energetic guitar riffs and soulful vocals make “Gluttony” the perfect first track to start off the album.
What made “Gluttony” so successful is the same formula that helped other tracks such as “Wrath” and “Seven Ways To Die.” Todd’s vocals, along with Keith Nelson’s work on lead guitar and Stevie D’s work on rhythm guitar help these tracks standout, but are the highlights of the album. Although Todd only has one vocal range with his nasally tone, since these songs are based on his life, there is a depth of emotion in every lyric.
He is not the only one that gave it his all on the album. The standout performances of the album are by Nelson and Stevie. Their work on the guitar is what gives character to each song and makes them fun to listen to. Even with one of the darkest songs on the album, “Sloth,” which talks about suicide, the duo delivers an emotional blues-style riff, which brings the song away from its dark theme and makes it a soulful ballad.
Not every song on the album is on the same level as previously mentioned tracks. Songs like “Lust” and “Dreamin’ Of You” miss the mark and fail to take advantage of strong vocals and guitars. Part of this could be due to the fact that the band has not experimented much with being out of their comfort zone. They have accelerated with the fast tempo songs, but have been unsuccessful in producing slower tempo songs since “Sorry.” “Sloth” is a successful slower song because it has a slightly different Buckcherry sound, due to having more of a “bluesier” edge.
Along with opening up about his life with the album, Todd is developing a short film to go along with it. The story will feature a younger version of Todd, who deals with all of the same life events mentioned in the album. The tracks are meant to be a soundtrack to the movie with each title representing a certain theme from the film. An insight to the concept of the film can be seen in the music video for the track “Gluttony.”
Although their musical style has not changed, Buckcherry has moved away from their party anthem-like songs and have dug deeper into their personal lives. Just as a confession is the right first step into solving any problem; “Confessions” is a good first step for Buckcherry to show their maturity as a band lyrically and musically.
-Published in The Oswegonian