Released on June 2, 2023 (Round Hill Records)
I had some high expectations for Buckcherry‘s tenth album, titled simply Vol. 10, coming off of 2021’s Hellbound, which I ranked in my top five best releases of the year for this site. Sometimes when I rank something as the best of the year, the follow-up may be a let-down in my mind (and ears). After dropping away from the band with 2008’s Black Butterfly, my return to the group with the 2021 release got me excited to listen to them again with the strong rock that could have been a part of the LA Strip era sleaze music that I was a huge fan of back in the 1980s.
Starting with “This And That,” and the debut single “Good Time,” the band invites the listener to enjoy the strong guitar work, powerful drumming, and the vocals of Josh Todd bringing the party vibes right off the bat. “Keep On Fighting,” is a song that is perfect for this time of the year for a track that one can crank full blast driving down the road for a three-minute ride of just intense straight-up hard rock with no filler needed. The great thing about this CD is that the group stuck to keeping the songs relatively short in length without added solos or unneeded extended chorus until fade out, which is down my alley, being a fan of the 1960s music before groups recorded songs with long guitar jams. Nothing against those songs, but it is refreshing to hear something where the group focuses on the ten songs instead of putting something like fifteen tracks on a release that could have been omitted.
The rock anthem style of “Turn It On” emphasizes the sing-along sound with stronger backing vocals being heard with a wicked guitar solo. With it being track four, the album flows nicely and doesn’t let down on intensity or musicianship, keeping the overall experience solid. My favorite song off the album is the ballad “Feels Like Love” for many reasons. I love when bands have a ballad on a release to give my ears a break from in-your-face rock. Plus I like melody in my songs that could have a radio-friendly sound to it. Growing up on groups like KISS, the Beach Boys, Warrant, and the Hagar-led Van Halen, I always leaned towards a pop-flavor touch to the music. “Feels Like Love” should be released as a single, and could make fans, who haven’t followed the group since songs like “Sorry”, come back to check the album out. Plus, the sound reminded me of a 1987 Whitesnake power ballad feel to it. Sure we know Buckcherry can bring the party vibes, but they also can give a solid love-style track as well, which shows the artistic side of Todd and company. This song was one that I kept repeating during my review listen before moving on to the next song.
“One And Only” has a rhythm to it similar to The Rolling Stones‘ “Sympathy For The Devil,” but gets heavy after the opening, and is a good choice in placement coming out of the ballad to get the listener ready with the opening parts before hitting them again with the harder parts of the song. Sometimes track placement gets overlooked on releases, but this is the perfect spot for this one. Another single, “Shine Your Light,” has solid drumming and keeps a strong rock presence that isn’t too heavy for radio but still not too light to turn off the rockers. “Let’s Get Wild” continues the party-style lyrics and has a crunchy AC/DC guitar riff. This is another Saturday night car song or just to crank at the party with some buddies. The bouncy-guitar work on “With You” reminded me of something Alice Cooper may be putting out with his work in the last ten years or so. At a short run time of just over three minutes long, again, it can’t be dismissed that the group focused on the ten songs they had without added solos, or choruses, but just putting the best effort they could make.
My least favorite song is “Pain,” another ballad that starts with a piano style that gave too much resemblance to a hard rock version of “Let It Be.” As much as I like ballads, this one (although the dynamics in it are respectable) just didn’t resonate with me. The good is it is the last song off the album except for the bonus track, where I could skip it with it being at the end, but on the other side, it doesn’t come off as a great ending track after the rest of the CD is so good. The bonus track is a cover of Bryan Adams‘ “Summer of 69.” With the release being ready for summer, it’s a good choice with the classic song. As much as this is a heavier version of the song, I give credit for them trying to do a song where many (me included) will stick to the original. But it is good to end the total release on a rocking note, as opposed to “Pain.” Again, not dismissing their attempt, but if I want to listen to the song, I’ll go with the original, although I give it a solid “B” rating.
Vol. 10 is a wonderful continuation from their last release, full of solid musicianship, raunchy sleaze-style party songs, along with a wonderful ballad that is a 1980s throwback. This is a release that will get multiple plays this summer for me and will keep me excited until number 11 comes down the road.
01. This And That
02. Good Time
03. Keep On Fighting
04. Turn It On
05. Feels Like Love
06. One And Only
07. Shine Your Light
08. Let’s Get Wild
09. With You
11. Summer of 69
Josh Todd – vocals
Stevie Dacanay – lead and rhythm guitars, backing vocals
Kelly Lemieux – bass
Francis Ruiz – drums
Billy Rowe – rhythm and lead guitars, backing vocals
Produced and mixed by Marti Frederiksen, Anthony Focx and Evan Frederiksen
Engineered by Evan Frederiksen
Mastered by Anthony Focx
Reviewed by Lance Lumley for Sleaze Roxx, June 2023
Buckcherry‘s “Good Time” video:
Buckcherry‘s “Let’s Get Wild” visualizer video:
Buckcherry‘s “Shine Your Light” video: