REVIEW: BUCKCHERRY – “Warpaint”
Warpaint is Buckcherry’s eighth studio album and first with producer Mike Plotnikoff (Halestorm, All That Remains) recorded at West Valley Recording Studio in Los Angeles. This studio is tucked away in the secluded Woodland Hills area, little did the neighbor’s know Buckcherry were recording their asses off day and night. Josh Todd says they are looking to be “sonically current”, nothing retro, and nothing they have done before. Loaded with over 30 songs going into the studio written by Josh Todd and Guitarist Steve D, the band worked feverishly for several weeks to find the essence in that batch of 30 and carve it down to 12 power packed tracks that best reflect where they are at in the present. Josh talks about how he doesn’t look back and tries not to look too far in the future, just to live in the present and be true to self. Josh wants this record to reflect that state of mine and I believe they succeeded.
Starting off this thrill seeker we jam out to the opening track and title of the album “Warpaint” this tune is about Todd’s own heavily tattooed warpainted self and the fascination he had with the Native Americans and their war paint as a child. As Todd says “ People paint themselves or tattoo themselves to not only show up for battle but to mark a really amazing time in their lives. It’s a celebration”. This track starts off with that Buckcherry classic feel but driving you down a warpath of guitar riffs, and basslines. Todd tells us he’s gonna Kiss the night away, sleep all day, and forget all his problems as this is an anthem on this track. Not slowing down one bit they slowly build up this tribal rhythm on the track “Right Now” but with this comes a beautify placed acoustic and chunky grove that allows Josh to almost let out a full statement about living in the now, where he is at after being sober for 24 years, not being resentful and non-judgemental. Can’t wait to hear a completely stripped down version of this someday soon.
With our third track on this album, we get Buckcherry’s take on the Nine Inch Nails’s classic “Head like a Hole”. I think this version of the song is very well done this song everyone knows and these guys crushed it. Just turn it up loud and rock out cause you know they did recording it. “Radio Song” is an introspective look at Todd himself. These guys just kill it with their ballads and this song is an instant classic. Love the whole vibe and feel of it, it gets you. I believe this album was very therapeutic for Josh as in the next Track “Vacuum” seems like an awareness of being sucked into a bunch of bullshit you didn’t want to be involved in. As for sound, the rhythm section holds this one tight as the lead work and solos are incredible. A hidden gem for sure. Next up to bat is their leadoff single off the album “Bent” and man does this one come out swinging. Packed with a lot of punch, aggression, and angst, Bent drives like a speeding bullet, you’ll be on this ride till they let you off, so hold on tight.
“Back Down” starts as a good old street fight about to take place all brass knuckles, balls funk and a bit of soul. Here the crew talks about keeping their feet on the ground and never backing down, lots of swanky punchy guitar work with classic Buckcherry all over this piece. On “The Alarm” again you feel this giant riff rock with a bit of funk running behind it. The guys are telling us all the to sound the Alarm as the weekend is almost here. This is a Rager for sure. Bringing it back to the early punk scenes of years past Stevie D brings in a little Social D influence to “No Regrets”. This punk rocker of a song is on the heavier side for Josh but fun to pull from his adolescent years to write it I’m sure. Dropping it a lot slower and softer we hit up “The Hunger” this is the second ballad on the album well separated and has a very country feel to it, very pretty and soft. A couples song for sure, his Hunger is there for her that’s for sure.
With the second last song on the album “ The Closer “ it a high octane thriller meant to get you excited and pumped up. Loved the solo on this one it keeps soaring and climbing the adrenaline was rising for sure. And to close out this action-packed 12 song rollercoaster we dig deep with “Devil in the Details” Josh and co put this one deep on the album for all those true fans to have a little treat to chew on at the end of this rock n roll feast. It’s a trashy glam revival stomping out locations all over the world while pulling out huge fat riffs and a rolling tide of thundering drums. This album is exactly what you’re looking for in a Buckcherry album, its sexy, honest, raw and packed with an ass-kicking. Long live rock and roll.