Label: Century Media Records
Release date: February 19, 2013
The guys from Buckcherry have returned with yet another solid hard rock record, Confessions. The follow-up to 2010’s All Night Long is a much more serious record; no party anthems here, but still a collection of 13 excellent rock tunes. There is something of a concept tying the tracks together as, among the 13, there is one track named for each of the seven deadly sins. For those who know their biblical references, or even a few horror movies, you’ll have no trouble identifying these.
The first thing I noticed on this album is that Josh Todd (vocals) sounds better than he has in years. Every Buckcherry album, for me, has been a good one. However, I’d have to say Josh’s voice hasn’t sounded this good since the band put out 15, which spawned some of their biggest commercial hits to date.
As a drummer, the improvement in Xavier Muriel’s (drums/percussion) playing was the next thing I noticed. This isn’t to say that his playing was ever bad or sub-par; it was not. However, Confessions shows him incorporating more complex fills into the tracks than found on previous Buckcherry works.
Of course, Keith Nelson’s fretwork is prominent on this record as even when raw, gritty lead guitar playing wasn’t in fashion in a lot of the rock records that were selling over the past few years, Buckcherry never compromised their hard rock roots.
The CD kicks off with the lead single, “Gluttony”, which the band and label offered to fans as a free download shortly before Christmas. As is true of all of Buckcherry‘s albums, Confessions kicks right in to high gear, starting out with this up-tempo, in-your-face rocker. The song talks about all the excesses in life, and asks the question: Without these, what are we supposed to do? To me, the point of the song is that the writer isn’t going to change his ways because without too much smoke, drink, sex, and food, life would be boring. This is the closest you’ll find to a party anthem on the CD.
“Wrath” is up next. This track has a nice groove to it, and shows the guitars and bass working together to find the musical sweet spot. Lyrically, it’s about an angry, yet broken, person. He has a need to be broken, but has a rather short fuse.
Up next, we have “Nothing Left But Tears”, which I predict will be a successful radio single. It’s about someone, maybe an ex-lover, former friend, or estranged family member, who keeps trying to get back in to the writer’s life, but causes nothing but pain every time he or she is let back in. At this point, the writer has had enough, and is saying “no more…I’m done with you.”
We slow down the tempo a bit with “The Truth”. The song seems to be one of those which could be interpreted in several ways. To me, it seems to be about that one person who knows you so well, and loves you so deeply that even when you try to hide your sins, they just seem to know what you’ve done, but forgive you anyway. I could be reading too much into it, so listen and make up your own mind.
“Greed” could be about anyone at some point in our lives, but listening to the lyrics, I think of politicians and some of our country’s more corrupt business leaders. It’s very in-your-face, and sadly, pretty accurate regarding the society in which we live.
“Water” is up next, and is another one I can see being a radio-friendly track. It’s about that intimate connection between two people who seem meant for each other sexually, but says nothing about the non-physical aspects of a relationship.
“Seven Ways to Die” has a great riff going through it. It’s a matter-of-fact song about how the writer’s lifestyle has him closing in on the seven sins, and seven ways to die. It’s not looking at it darkly, but also isn’t condoning the lifestyle…The song takes sort of the it is what it is approach.
“Air” has a cool, sort of psychedelic vibe for about the first 10 seconds… Then, goes into a riff that’ll stick in your cranium forever. It’s about a girl who gets so into your head that you just have to be with her. Good, upbeat infatuation song.
“Sloth” features some bluesy piano and vocals. Tempo-wise, it’s very different from most of Buckcherry‘s work. When you listen closely, you discover it’s about losing a father to suicide at a young age. Emotionally, Josh Todd’s vocal delivery puts you right there, making you feel the pain to a degree, probably more so for those of us who’ve ever lost someone truly close to us to a self-inflicted death. Probably not the song to listen to if you’re already depressed, but a great song nonetheless.
“Pride” features Josh doing something I’ve never heard him do…Musically, it’s melodic rock at its finest…But vocally, it starts with Josh rapping the verses. Not bad for a white boy. Of course, excellent vocals kick in toward the chorus. The song, to me, talks about your pride being your downfall.
Next up is “Envy”…I told you the seven deadly sins theme would be prevalent throughout this CD. It’s about envying a guy for the woman he has, and wanting her, and truly hating the guy because he feels he cares more for the person than her partner does. This is yet another one I see having great success at rock radio.
And now, for the last of the deadly sins, “Lust”. We’ve all experienced it, some of us more so than others. This is about letting lust consume and control you. Musically, I love the power and groove of the song. Lyrically, it warns of how lust can indeed destroy your life.
“Dreamin’ Of You” closes out the CD. An acoustic track, with orchestral backing, this could be the only song that has a shot at crossing over to the pop audiences who loved “Sorry” off the 15 release. To me, the song appears to be about two people who are apart currently, but he’s telling her that he’s dreaming and thinking of her, and that their love will conquer all. This could be the first time I’ve seen Buckcherry end a CD on a lighter note, let alone with a happy song.
Of course, as is true with most albums these days, there are several deluxe versions available with bonus tracks. iTunes has bonus tracks; the CD version comes with a bonus DVD; the Japanese version also contains bonus material. Pick the one that looks best to you.
If you’re a long-time Buckcherry fan, you’ll love this CD. Even if you’ve not been much into the band previously, this CD is worth a listen as the lyrical content is some of the band’s best work ever.
For more information about the band, including news and tour dates, Visit their website.