Buckcherry is back. The two former records of the band, Black Butterfly and All Night Long were good rock and roll albums, but they didn’t manage to be saved from a very serious word: Forgettable. And it was even more serious if you compared them to acclaimed debut album or 15.
After 15 years of rock and albums full of clichés, excesses, drugs, girls and more girls, Buckcherry got to a cross road for any band: You either take risks and may get burn … or you keep up with the self copying and die little by little. Josh Todd y Keith Nelson took the first choice… and we thank them for that.
Confessions is a different record in Buckcherry’s discography. It has the sound and the attitude but this time, Todd let us see his human side, far from the stereotype of the shallow soulless rockstar that remembers he loves his girl so much once she already left.
The sixth album is conceptual, basing itself on the seven deadly sins and opening with first single ‘Gluttony’, which can only be defined as Buckcherry. It’s a song to wake up, a concentrated adrenaline injection that gather all the factors that turned Lit Up into an anthem.
With an awesome bass, ‘Wrath’ has more of a modern style. After being Velvet Revolver’s singer (until Slash decided to replace him by Scott Weiland), Josh Todd had put all his effort into establish himself as one of the best hard rock singers and he made it. His voice can be a little plane, but it clearly represents the style and its spirit. ‘Wrath’ is a small sample of how Velvet Revolver would have been with Josh in vocals since it sounds a lot like the ex GN’Rs project.
‘Nothing Left But Tears’ is the first song out of the 7 deadly sins concept. One could wait a conceptual album from any band but Buckcherry. Nevertheless this shows that the concept is not well developed indeed, since there are songs that don’t have to do anything at all with it.
Despite this (which is more of a formality), ‘Nothing Left But Tears’ is a very modern song, the bass sounds like Placebo in the beginning (yup, Placebo) until it gets to the choirs where you can appreciate the classic Buckcherry sound.
‘The Truth’ is probably one of the best Buckcherry’s ballads so far. Once more, it’s about this rockstar that at one point regrets everything and always comes back to the same girl, following the line of songs like ‘I’m Sorry’. When it’s about rock ballads, Aerosmith is THE band we should look at as the ultimate example, not only because of the sound but because the structure and building of a power ballad would be nothing without them. Within this context, Buckcherry follow the steps of the masters and somehow they hook you, even the song is full of clichés. It could be the next single.
‘Greed’ is good but doesn’t pop up within the album. Water sounds like a song from a badass 90s rock and roll band but with mellow lyrics. Going back to the clash between tough rocker/love song, I think there is definitely something about the idea of a ballad sung by a guy that you would never introduce to your parents. Somehow it makes it interesting and for sure, it’s a good formula that never fails when there is good stuff.
‘Seven Ways to Die’ is catchy and bass player Jimmy ‘Two Fingers’ Ashhurst is the star again. ‘Air’ sounds very Velvet Revolver and it has some hints to 90s hard rock, a bit of Stone Temple Pilots in tracks like ‘Big Bang Baby’. Good job, Ketih Nelson.
‘Sloth’ isn’t one of the best Buckcherry’s ballads. The phrasing is not brilliant but is a special song because Todd opens his soul and canalizes his father suicide through a dramatic, sad, theatrical song which has a lot of feeling.
‘Pride’ is by far the highest score of the record. Is a song that Johnny Cash could have sung if he was alive. The topic is almost taken from a Tarantino movie or a Clint Eastwood’s western. It has clichés, but it also has turns, history, textures, an amazing phrasing and an extremely interesting narrative for current hard rock sound. New bands should learn from songs like this to make a difference. It is so well done that it becomes a soundtrack, a graphic song that makes you imagine places, scenarios and characters. Well done, Buckcherry!
‘Envy’ has an interesting story about a guy obsessed with another man’s girlfriend, nothing but a cool, amusing track, just like ‘Lust’ that takes us back to classic Buckcherry’s topics.
‘Dreaming of You’ is the perfect song to close the album. Is an acoustic ballad, well constructed, it turns down the adrenaline and has a positive message: rockstar have a heart.
Confessions is a proof of you can reinvent yourself without loosing your essence. The concept could have a better development since there are songs that have nothing to do with the main idea. Nevertheless is a fresh, different, well produced record. It has attitude, a novel narrative and has all the elements to become one of the best albums of 2013.