Review: Buckcherry – Vol.10
Earache Records (June 2nd, 2023)
Reviewer: Jason Hopper
I am not a Buckcherry aficionado, but I have liked a few of their songs over the years, the classic ‘Lit Up’, the driving anthemness of ‘Rescue Me’ and the “lyrics that make me smile” beauty of ‘Crazy Bitch’. I asked to review this album based off the two previously released singles, ‘Good Time’ and ‘Let’s Get Wild’. Both songs had been played by me numerous times over the last few weeks and was hoping for an album full of that party time rawness that they specialize in. With this album, I got some of that, some nice surprises, and a track that should have never made the album.
The opening track threw me for a loop. ‘This and That’ has a bluegrassy approach, with a simple kick drum and handclaps to start. A slide guitar enters the picture before kicking into a rockabilly swagger. Admittedly, it took a few listens, but I warmed to its incorporation of instruments dropping in and out while keeping a consistent feel for the melody. A bold decision when the safe bet would have been to go with Track 2 as the opener.
‘Good Time’ is a great melody that represents the party vibe the band presents. It’s a song they could write in their sleep, but it’s what you would expect from the band to some degree, and it does not disappoint. A song that is designed to go on party playlists to get people revved up.
Track 3 changes directions again. ‘Keep On Fighting’ is akin to a track Skid Row would produce, similar in tone to their classic ‘Piece of Me’. Heavy with elements of punk, it remains melodious from a solid groove laid down by bassist Kelly LeMieux and drummer Francis Ruiz. Love the energy of this track!
The biggest surprise for me comes with the first ballad. Any ballads I’ve heard from them have been acoustic based, such as ‘Sorry’ or ‘The Feeling Never Dies’. I did not expect a power ballad, but that’s just what you get with ‘Feels Like Love’. With a tempo similar to Def Leppard’s ‘Hysteria’ and soft, elegant strumming from guitarists Stevie D. and Billy Rowe, this is the song that stuck with me the most. This would have been a surefire hit if it came out in the late 80s. A masterful number with more heart than I expected from a band that wrote ‘Crazy Bitch’.
The second half is not as strong, but certainly has some standouts. There’s the aforementioned sister track to ‘Good Time’ with ‘Let’s Get Wild’, the slow burn then off the hinges rocker ‘One and Only’, and the piano-based ballad ‘Pain’. While not as strong as the other ballad, it’s typical of ballads that came before and still heartfelt, with violins adding a nice ethereal feel.
What should have never been attempted was the cover of Bryan Adams’ ‘Summer of 69’. While it’s slightly sped up, they do nothing else to add their own spin to the track. It doesn’t hold a candle to the original and with no new arrangement or fresh interpretation, it’s pointless to exist and serves strictly as time filler for an album that clocks in at 37 minutes with its inclusion. They should have either added a variance or picked another song entirely.
Without knowing most of the back catalog I can’t compare it to what came before in terms of whole album contextualization, but I believe long time fans will be pleased with this album. Is it their best album? That’s going to be subjective, but I thought it was great and made me what to go back and explore their other releases. Definitely an album to add to your collection whether you’re a newbie like me or a long-time fan.
- This and That
- Good Time
- Keep On Fighting
- Turn It On
- Feels Like Love
- One and Only
- Shine Your Light
- Lets Get Wild
- With You
- Summer of 69