All Access Magazine Articles

March 15, 2007

Buckcherry :: Fifteen

Atlantic Records
CD Review

By Susie Salva

Buckcherry :: FifteenLos Angeles based straight-ahead rockers Buckcherry rise like a phoenix out of the ashes. With their reemergence on the scene after a four hiatus, Buckcherry’s latest CD, “Fifteen” (recorded in only 15 days hence the name) and recently picked up by Atlantic Records prove that they are back with a vengeance.

Influenced by Aerosmith, AC/DC, Guns ‘N Roses and the Black Crowes they prove they are a force to be reckoned with. Their music is reminiscent of 80’s classic rock but flirts with punk energy. Like legendary frontmen and lead guitarists duos Jagger/Richards, Tyler/Perry – Josh Todd and Keith Nelson demonstrate that they can hold their own. Their songs deal with faltering relationships, sex, and more sex.

“We had to take a break and asses what was important, and that’s creating music that fills what we see as a current void for classic rock with a modern edge,” says Nelson a self-dubbed East Coast blues-rock guitar guy from Bearer Falls, PA about their hiatus from the rock world. The band maintains they don’t do it (create music) for the money just to give themselves satisfaction with integrity for the music they produce.

The band broke onto the national scene in 1999 with their critically acclaimed self-titled album for Dreamworks records scoring Modern Rock singles, “Lit Up,” “Check Your Head,” and “For the Movies,” and quickly ignited a following of passionate fans craving a return of true rock and roll.

Buckcherry released their follow-up CD, “Time Bomb” in the summer of 2000 following a successful stint opening for their longtime heroes AC/DC. Dreamworks records fizzled stalling the groups’ momentum and the band suffered the sophomore slump and dissolved. While on hiatus from Buckcherry, Todd and Nelson were recruited by Slash, Duff McKagen, and Matt Sorum and began writing music as an ensemble although it never panned out, and the sessions served as a precursor for the infamous “G & R project” now titled as Velvet Revolver.

Todd missed his friend Nelson, “And it came back together (the band) so quickly and effortlessly, we felt ‘this is the way it’s supposed to be’. The time away ended up working in our favor,” contends Todd.

Next, the band went the independent route producing music that they liked themselves without the pressure of making money. The band is now comprised of the founding members Josh Todd (vocals) Keith Nelson (guitar) along with three new members Xavier Muriel (drums), Stevie D. (guitar) and Jimmy Ashhurst (bass). “Fifteen” is their debut release on Eleven Seven music in association with ADA and Atlantic records.

“We entered this process without an A & R guy or a label behind us,” says Nelson. “There wasn’t a huge payday waiting for us. It was about making a record we were happy with and believe in it. I don’t give a ___ about selling records if I’m not getting off on the music and the people I am making it with.”

“Fifteen” jumps starts this all out rocker with “So Far,” paying tribute to their idea of making music on their own terms. The CD gained momentum with the release of “Crazy Bitch” an Aerosmith inspired track that they first placed on their MySpace page. The song captures the energy of modern rock and roll dealing with the idea of having a sexual relationship without any emotional attachment.

The band released a video montage of strippers cast from an open call also on their MySpace page helping to perpetuate their non-traditional marketing of “Fifteen”. The fans clamored for the tune forcing the band to record a clean version of the song for radio.

“Next 2 You,” was positioned to be the bands first single being more radio friendly track, but “Crazy Bitch” took off. “Next 2 You” deals with the desire to get next to a girl that is reluctant to become involved sexually.

The AC/DC fashioned tune “Out of Line,” deals again with a faltering relationship, one where the guy tolerates the situation only to turn around feeling screwed over. You can hear the Angus Young-like guitar riffs.

“Sorry” the obligatory power ballad complete with string section and co-written by Marti Frederickson is an apologetic tale when things are just not working out. This tune evokes a cell phone flurry of lights as this sentimental track evolves where the guy is looking for sympathy from his partner who he still is truly in love with.

Other balls-to-the-walls rockers on this disc include “Onset” the full-tilt faces of rock, “Sunshine”, the anti-war AC/DC-influenced “Broken Glass,” plus the bluesy acoustic ode to “Brooklyn”.

“That’s the best thing about America,” adds Todd, “You can get a second chance…and I’m very grateful for it.”

On “Fifteen” Buckcherry have survived the industry to show the world what they’ve always strived to become - a world-class rock band. Check them out at: www.buckcherry.com or www.myspace.com/buckcherry

Review by Susie Salva
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