[ALBUM REVIEW] Buckcherry – Warpaint

Warpaint Tracklist:

01. Warpaint
02. Right Now
03. Head Like A Hole
04. Radio Song
05. The Vacuum
06. Bent
07. Back Down
08. The Alarm
09. No Regrets
10. The Hunger
11. Closer
12. The Devil’s In The Details

 Reviewed by Casper

Cheers of mass celebration resound at Silver Tiger Media with each and every Buckcherry announcement, but with the arrival of their eighth album Warpaint an unprecedented level of elation is immediately evident.  The reasons for this in others I can only presume, but for yours truly is a very simple, yet a grave concern nonetheless when so much of a back catalogue is so very great.  Is this the time that our eager ears are met with bitter disappointment?  Is this the album that Buckcherry decide to let the foot off the gas?  I never REALLY entertain that possibility but some concerns resonate as I press a digit to the play button and the final worries merge into nervous expectation.

Then as Warpaint blasts forth from shuddering speakers and your hair blows back in euphoric aural bliss, the concerns are whisked away by the raw rock brilliance of a fresh and fantastic Buckcherry.  The story goes that Josh is singing about, among other things, his own impressive tattoo collection and people tend to Warpaint as more a celebration than an attempt at aposematic coloration to send a message to a potential foe.  I certainly concur with Josh but only an upcoming chat with the man himself will reveal the truth.  Stay tuned on that one.

As a particular musical maturity steps forth in the second offering Right Now it becomes abundantly clear that despite having produced a blistering last offering Rock ‘n’ Roll in 2015, Buckcherry is not going to be basking in the glory of albums past.  Indeed Josh Todd and Stevie D rolled out the astonishingly tremendous Year Of The Tiger in company with Gregg Cash and Sean Winchester as Josh Todd and the Conflict and that satisfied those of us who spend out lives hungry for more from the prime creative masterminds, but this album is something different again.  

The magic Mike Plotnikoff who has worked with pretty much everyone from the Halestorm debut to AC/DC, Of Mice and Men to All That Remains along with the 2005-2006 release from Buckcherry themselves in “15”, has again sat arse in the producer’s saddle for Warpaint.  I believe the results of this renewed collaboration speak for themselves on this exciting and thoroughly engaging collection.

Now hold onto your hat for the third installment being a cover of the Nine Inch Nails track Head Like A Hole which is in a word, brilliant.  The video clip released to accompany this song whets the appetite to see Buckcherry live again to an almost unbearable level.  With the tour schedule for Warpaint ready to kick off, we pray for an opportunity sooner rather than later to be stage front once again.

A beautiful surprise awaits listeners with the amazing Radio Song. This track, in particular, is blissfully revealing as an often moving ode to carpe diem through sober eyes and is melodically blissful to boot. I hope and pray this track is an offering at live performances as a mid-set refrain and shining example of the limitless talent at the core of Buckcherry.

The Vacuum is yet another unbelievably rewarding song that has me aching understand the creative process and wishing I was a fly on the wall of West Valley Recording Studio to truly understand what brought Buckcherry to produce such a glorious collection. 

Bent has been out and about for some months now and the figures of resounding approval don’t lie but I did not want to rest all my hopes of that tracks merits alone.   I knew deep down that entertaining the possibility of anything less than utter commitment from Buckcherry to their sound was folly, but to hear them reveling in the here and now, soaring so high creatively is exhilarating.  To give that statement some perspective, we are only six songs in the beautiful voices of backing vocalists, the sultry serenade of a Stevie D riff and an ‘Oh Yeah” from Josh beckon you into the studio as a very special guest to relive a tremendous track indeed.  Close your eyes and your right there but open them again quickly to avoid injury because sitting still through this number is just not an option.  The rhythm is an entity all of its own and this track has more layers to enjoy than Wuollet Bakery.  Utterly superb.   I will leave most of this song to the listeners own ear and try not to build expectations of style though subjective discourses save to say that it has all the appeal of when Josh led us all in unanimous celebration of Tight Pants or asked at a live show “is anybody here living with a Crazy bitch”.  The extra helpings of raw rock appeal done as only Buckcherry can and will bring utter bliss to fans of their amazing sound. 

But then when we move on the magical groove of The Alarm and avast ye matey if you don’t like a challenge to free will because this one has more hooks than a pirates spare claw drawer and its with you for the day.

No Regrets just sums up this album and the value of Buckcherry to us all, to a tee.  The smatterings of rockabilly riff and knee slapping appeal blend into the song so superbly and the opening The Hunger brings us back to a level of wistful reflection and the realisation hits again that this is why truly brilliant musicians doing what they do best, bathed in the honesty of the here and now will always result in pure gold. 

Closer brings back the heavy punch of the Buckcherry style that is a law unto itself and beyond comparison but the writing on this album is something truly next level.  The Devils in the Details is aptly named and superbly sequenced as an evil, irresistible temptation.  Not only does it reinforce the Midas touch of our creative cohorts an their current company but this fantastic finale has you declaring your loyalty to Warpaint as your new favourite.  So don your colours and declare your allegiance.  You will certainly not be alone.

I one were forced to sum up this magnificent collection in one word I believe I would choose honest as my go to description.  This is a contemporary Buckcherry sound and it’s a thoroughly exciting journey.  It is evident that the band have not restrained their creative urges one skerrick, nor pondered the possibilities of a downside to the full steam ahead mentality.  It seems to me that the creativity of true genius seldom looks to the past and is never truly satisfied.  I’ve no doubt at all that even as the melodious newborn offspring of Buckcherry take their first steps into the world before a live audience, the band will be exploring new possibilities for future development.  With Warpaint we are again the beneficiaries of the ongoing struggle between creativity and fulfilment.  Buckcherry astound yet again.  Bravura.