Album Review: Buckcherry – All Night Long

Two years ago Buckcherry emerged from their cocoon as a black butterfly, looking willing and ready to take on the world but sadly this butterfly was weaker than those that came before it and it would never be able to match the heights that we all thought it could. Although people viewed the butterfly’s effort as honourable and applauded what it achieved, the rest couldn’t help but see that the more it flapped its wings, the more tired it simply became before it crashed to the ground. Although it certainly came with its hiccups, the determination that still existed within the name Buckcherry remained and they are back stronger than ever with their brand new album ‘All Night Long’.

Buckcherry All Night Long ArtworkBuckcherry’s commercial success came with their 2006 album ‘15’, featuring the hit singles ‘Crazy Bitch’ and ‘Sorry’, which simply took the band to another level when they returned fresh after a split with three new members joining Josh Todd and Keith Nelson. The change to the bands line-up is just what was required as it allowed Josh and Keith to plot a clear future for the band while bringing in new musicians who shared those same ambitions. After the hiccup that was ‘Black Butterfly’, there was a doubt to what they could collectively go on to do as the whole sex, drugs and rock n’ roll theme to their existence was becoming stale. Though it came as a surprise, a welcomed one, to find that ‘All Night Long’ had Buckcherry looking within and finally making the decision to grow up and take a more mature approach to their writing.

When I first discovered that the band were setting out to produce a clean album which would see them move away from swearing, drug references and also toning down on the direct sexual references (although still utilising the innuendos), I was pleased to hear that they wanted to be a lot more positive in their direction to music and I have to state that it was the best decision they could have possibly made.

The album opens with ‘All Night Long’, the title track, a song that could easily be the party anthem of 2010 with you finding at moments that you are simply crying out for more cowbell. For what is being mistaken as a return to the bands lyrical sexual roots, ‘All Night Long’ is a song which is said to be just like being at a Buckcherry concert, the energy connection between the band and the fans as they get ready to party all night long.

Following on from the party anthem is ‘It’s A Party’ though the song differs from ‘All Night Long’ in that this is the party for Buckcherry. ‘It’s A Party’ is the bands own anthem to describe their love for getting on stage every night they and having the time of their lives. Opening with a Queen ‘We Will Rock You’ replica intro, the song definitely sets the mood of a band enjoying themselves with great heavy rock guitar riffs and the pounding drum that if your foot isn’t tapping to, your head certainly is.

No hard rock album would be complete with the odd ballad and as expected, like many ballads are becoming on many albums, the songs all feel rather predictable. ‘I Want You’, a standard love song which showcases a lot of the bands passion and ‘Bliss’ follows the same direction, while staying low tempo through each verse they look to explode and build on the chorus. ‘Bliss’ was originally not picked for the album and was in fact one of their songs that sat on the inside until they felt they needed to inject another song with a lower tempo. The song as Josh states was the one that popped out at them as the one they should include and it is easy to see why it popped as the band do pick up the energy towards the end of the song with some great guitar work. While the previous had their predictable style, the stand out song from this pack on the album has to be ‘These Things’. While dealing with relationship issues and things building up between two lovers, Buckcherry have set their direction on this song perfectly and carry it on through. All areas of the song complement each another in such an incredibly high standard and with ‘These Things’ coming before ‘I Want You’ and ‘Bliss’ on the track listing, you will find yourself very disappointed that they couldn’t match it later on.

‘Oh My Lord’ takes the bands AC/DC influence and pulls it to the forefront with a great beat and ‘Recovery’ increases the tempo and brings out one of the stronger performances from the band. ‘Never Say Never’, a song from the ‘Black Butterfly’ sessions which didn’t make the album, was rediscovered during the bands recording sessions for ‘All Night Long’ and it certainly fits more on this album than how it would have on ‘Black Butterfly’. The song like many other Buckcherry songs just focuses on a great rhythm but I am not sure what it is, but I seem to lose myself in the song after the half way mark. Although the song is well balanced, I feel it could with an injection of something but I simply cannot put my finger on it.

When you first listen to ‘Liberty’, you instantly notice the return of the not so clean and classic Buckcherry and to confirm their return, Josh spoke of the song stating: “Liberty is freedom and orgasm. That’s you know, that’s what it’s about, it can be whatever you want it to be. For me I like a good release. At the end of the day you just want to get it out, you need some liberty for yourself.” So if you were afraid you weren’t going to get some classic Buckcherry style then ‘Liberty’ fits all your needs.

‘Our World’ has been online since June and has been used to great effect, not as a promotional song for the album but to address people to the effects of the BP oil spill which when it was released as a single, the band donated every penny made to charity to help the growing crisis. The songs message is to simply make people think about our world and how we must do something to protect it as Josh feels that if we continue to live in the way we do, the world will simply be no more one day and we should use our lives to make a difference. While this is far away from the Buckcherry we know, I think this song is one of the clear indications that the band are finding a grasp of who they and maturing beyond many other bands in this genre.

The album comes to a close with the longest song on the album titled ‘Dead’. The song is Josh Todd’s message to everyone who tried to tell him that there was no future in music and that he would never make it but here he is today and with his band they create one of the best Buckcherry songs ever written.

If Buckcherry had written an album which took the exact same themes as those on ‘15’ and ‘Black Butterfly’, ‘All Night Long’ would have likely had its good points, but again, would have struggled to keep up the pace of bands already setting a new tone for this genre. Thankfully they have kept that good old fashioned Buckcherry vibe and performance but took a new direction lyrically and it pays off. ‘All Night Long’ has just given the band the opportunity to exist for many more years to come; after fifteen years of hard rocking, the formula does need a little tweaking at some point to keep your music feeling fresh and exciting. They have showcased they are more than capable of producing an album which sets not only a new standard for them but a standard for upcoming bands who wish to emulate the incredible success of the band.

Rating – 9

     

About Michael

Michael is the owner and creator of EspyRock. He is your general all round geek; sports fan; TV show fanatic. You can find him sharing his thoughts on his personal Twitter account. Contact Michael on Twitter or via Email.

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