Eleven Seven Records, 2006


REVIEW BY: Jeff Clutterbuck


Recently, my brother picked up the latest iteration of the venerable Guitar Hero franchise, Guitar Hero: Aerosmith. As he five-starred his way through the setlist, it was hard to not be in awe of how talented the members of Aerosmith are, not to mention the quality of their ‘70s work. Unfortunately, the game also highlights how vapid and empty the band’s material had become by the ‘90s. If there is a classic rock group that has been on autopilot longer than Aerosmith, well, drop me an email with your suggestions (I suppose some might put the Stones in there, but A Bigger Bang was worthwhile.)

Anyways, the brand of rock perpetuated by Aerosmith made them millions, and when executed well, is quite enjoyable. The modern day has seen a return to the sound of classic/garage rock, and given that Aerosmith remains one of the biggest bands in the world, it was only natural that Aerosmith imitators would come to light.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Of these groups, Buckcherry has seen the most success, and with the release of their album later this year they should finally crack through to the big time. With these boys, cock rock is back and in a big way (no pun intended. Well, maybe slightly). The 2006 release 15 brought the group back from semi-obscurity by crafting arena-ready riffs and melodies.

For those who have no experience with Buckcherry, one would most likely know them from their hit “Crazy Bitch.” Lude, filthy, and deliciously over-the-top, there is little to doubt about why the song became a hit. The cocky strutter displayed by lead vocalist Josh Todd meshes perfectly with the giant, Joe Perry-esque riffs that Keith Nelson delivers. This track is one of the best Aerosmith tracks never recorded by the band.

To my surprise, Buckcherry shows off quite a bit of versatility in its performance. Given that the group formed in 1995, they have had over a decade to pick up a few tricks for the studio along the way and have honed their craft to pointedly deliver the sound they are known for. “Carousel” and “Sorry” are epic power ballads that have more heart and soul between them than ten “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing”s. The band even dips into Let It Bleed-era country rock on “Brooklyn,” and adapts “It’s My Life” by Bon Jovi for their purposes on “Out Of Line.”

The difference between Buckcherry and a band such as Airbourne is that Airborune legitimately assumed the mantle of a band like AC/DC and sought to hone one particular sound. Buckcherry is a mixed bag of influences, yet they perform so genuinely and with such enthusiasm it is difficult to be cynical of their efforts. With so many classic rock artists treading water thirty or forty years on, there is nothing wrong with being reminded of why we fell in love with them in the first place, whomever one listens to.

Rating: A-

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© 2008 Jeff Clutterbuck and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Eleven Seven Records, and is used for informational purposes only.