It's starting to look like 2013 is the season of bands that do things that sound pretty much the same from release to release putting out new music that's the same as the old. Buckcherry is a solid band generally, although their last two releases have been pretty God-awful. Their latest release, CONFESSIONS, is far better than BLACK BUTTERFLY or ALL NIGHT LONG, but that's still not saying that they have regained the greatness they once showed with releases such as their 15 or their self-titled debut. While CONFESSIONS doesn't rival either of those releases, it does have some of the qualities that made both of those very listenable albums. In short, CONFESSIONS is a comeback of sorts for this working man's band.
Things really don't change much in the Buckcherry camp when it comes to what makes this band click. In short, they are a guitar driven rock band that features a very recognizable voice in that of Josh Todd. Todd, as always, sounds good on CONFESSIONS. To hear what he does or doesn't deliver, you need look no further than the song "The Truth". This ballad is the place on CONFESSIONS where Todd shows vocal range and showcases his singing voice instead of the more common gravelly screams that make up so much of their music. Todd sounds good here, as well as on more traditional Buckcherry songs like "Seven Ways To Die". He's complimented nicely by the steady, unflashy work of lead guitarist Keith Nelson and his rhythm playing counterpart Stevie D. They provide that whiskey soaked, barroom feel throughout which gives songs like "Greed" a nice flavor to them. The band is rounded out by drummer Xavier Muriel and bassist Jimmy Ashhurst. Both bring a steady backend to each and every song, with Muriel's snare drum playing popping in the headphones loudly throughout the entire disc. Songs like "Nothing Left But Tears" are instantly catchy Buckcherry staples that are sure to become fan favorites in the live setting. For this band, you have to think that's all the more they are looking for anyway.
PITRIFF RATING - 75/100 - CONFESSIONS isn't likely to bring much new to Buckcherry in terms of fans or sales, but it is a big step forward from a band that seemingly died on the vine a second time following the success of songs like "Crazy Bitch" and "Sorry". CONFESSIONS is a much more solid, less stupid version of the band than they've shown on recent albums where songs like "Too Drunk To Fuck" just came off as lame attempts to recreate and stretch the same theme that "Crazy Bitch" portrayed. CONFESSIONS feels a lot more real, and doesn't feel forced at all. It's a solid listening experience from a solid band.