Buckcherry Descends To A New Level Of Awful With ‘Confessions’
Published: Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 21:02
It took me about four hours of staring at the wall to press the play button on Confessions because the dull scream of my dying brain cells seemed more comforting than even a little Josh Todd. I finally decided it would be easiest to shotgun the album and chase every two songs with something listenable. There is no such pain as Buckcherry pain.
Buckcherry’s performance on Confessions wouldn’t have turned heads at a middle school talent show, but as their sixth studio release, their efforts are inexcusably ineffectual. The group is a product of that ’80s L.A. rock scene, and yes, they’re still greasy, they still have long hair, but the raw attitude—the over-sexualization of society and the rejection of anything mom-approved—is gone. Buckcherry has become a parody of the genre it emulates and, what’s worst, I’m pretty sure the band has no problem being the nightmarish radio-soundtrack on every family road trip ever.
Half of the song titles relate to the seven deadly sins, which would make for an interesting concept album if Buckcherry pursued anything with integrity, but mindless thrashers like “Nothing Left But Tears” and “Air” have nothing to do with the theme even nominally. Every song on the album plays out as a love letter to some vague feminine being regardless of topic, and none of these tracks have anything to do with their associated sins beside a title-drop in the chorus.
On “Gluttony,” Todd pushes out “I want it, I want it, I need it, I need it” with all the weight of a Commandment, and after a while I begin to appreciate the art of lobotomy. But this isn’t the mindless drivel of a band too busy rocking out to worry about what they say. Confessions is absolutely cluttered with senseless lyrics over worn-out melodies. “Water,” a soulless garage romp, is cut off with a massive twenty seconds of feedback. Seriously, Buckcherry? Who do you think you are? What do you think you just did? Feedback is earned, not deserved.
To be fair, there are a few confessions on this album. For example, we learn that Todd hates suicides, as evidenced by the lyric, “I’ve always hated your suicide.” Rather, Todd hates a particular suicide, and America agrees. Buckcherry is the thinking man’s Nickelback. Kudos, Todd. Kudos.
The best part of the album is Keith Nelson’s guitar solos, which are sparse and predictable, but Todd isn’t able to sing through his nose over them, so they are a welcome relief.
While every song on this album is commercial enough to storm the stations you hit ‘scan’ through, the mastery as a whole is dysfunctional—“Wrath” sounds like it was recorded on GarageBand while “Lust” is professional studio-crisp.
Also worth mentioning is that L.A. hard rock is such a visceral experience that it almost never translates well to recorded material. Even so, you wouldn’t even be able to see Buckcherry in their intended dingy setting, because they’re too busy breaking in their pre-ripped designer jeans on some arena stage.
It appears that when Buckcherry cornered the trailer market, they must have needed something for the love-lost Kiss crowd. Thus was born “Dreamin’ of You,” a song that speaks for itself: “You could never turn away / When you fly so high / And you might as well stay / There’s no limit to the sky / Believe in yourself / Stand up tall / It’s our time to shine.”
There is actually a two-minute-long video of goats that sound like screaming humans circulating the Internet that is much more worthwhile. Check it out.