Album Review: Buckcherry – Hellbound

Buckcherry have crafted some of the most entertaining rock classics of modern time. “Crazy Bitch” is just funky, wild and wonderfully non-PC; “Sorry” is a great rock ballad. They’ve barely paused over the last 25(!) years, and one of their more endearing qualities is that they really haven’t grown up. I mean, men my age releasing an EP with every song title including the word “fuck”? Why not, it’s rock and roll!

2021’s Hellbound continues in the vein with which we are familiar. It is, simply, balls out raucous rock music with the scuzzy edge we know and love. “54321” is a great intro, but the chugging earworm of “So Hott” is the first really catchy number. Josh Todd’s recognisable vocals are front and centre, while the twin guitars of Steve D and new boy Billy Rowe wrap around it. Rhythm is a big part of Buckerry’s sound, and this is provided by Kelly LeMieux on bass and Francis Ruiz on drums.

The title song is below in video form and it’s a decent number, but a little run-of-the-mill for Buckcherry. A safe option for radio-friendliness, though. I really took to the country overtones of “Gun” which follows. Nothing wrong with a bit of harmonica – if it’s good enough for Aerosmith…

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“No More Lies” has two sides to it. I love the chorus, but found the verses didn’t grab me as much musically. What I’m thinking though is that it would make a great acoustic track. Strip it back and you’d have quite the emotive number. Just a thought! “Here I Come” has us back in foot-to-the-floor territory, and its followed by the nicely grimy “Junk”. Your laid-back number on this album is definitely “Wasting No More Time”, one to kick back to.

Of course, where would we be without a ballad? Our offering this time is “The Way” which is a very pleasing number. It’s no “Sorry” but songs like that only come along once in a blue moon. This isn’t bad at all, though, with some great guitar solos to break it up.

Hellbound ends with “Barricade”, a by-the-numbers hard rock number that comes to a sudden end after it’s 3 minutes are up. The noisome silence hints at only one thing… flip back to track one and listen through again!

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This isn’t Buckcherry’s best album, but like so many long-standing acts they’ve already released a classic (15 for my money) which they’ll struggle to surpass. However, if you were in a band and still writing material as strong as this after 25 years, you’d be pleased with it. Buckcherry certainly should be and I think fans will be as well.

Check out all the bands we review in 2021 on our Spotify and YouTube playlists!

Hellbound is available for preorder in North America at Buckcherry.com and in the UK, Europe, and Australia at Earache.com/buckcherry – it’s released on June 25th.

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