Saturday, April 7, 2012

Buckcherry - Black Butterfly


I didn’t discover Buckcherry until years after their breakthrough album, 15, was released. By that, I mean that I found out about them the year that Black Butterfly was released…two years after 15. Being part of the metalhead community and subculture, I’ve seen and heard countless rants about Buckcherry and whatnot, but they’ve always been a group that I’ve strongly appreciated and respected as being one of the better bands in the modern hard rock scene. Although I will admit that after getting completely used to hearing the EXTREME complexity of extreme metal, it has been much more difficult to see technical and instrumental skills in rock (and pretty much most non-metal) musicians, it hasn’t impaired my ability to see creativity in the minds of these musicians; especially in the minds of Buckcherry.

I wouldn’t say that Buckcherry has a heavier rock sound like other hard rock bands like Kutless, Disciple, Point 1, and Motorhead. I would actually consider Buckcherry to have a much more upbeat and sometimes poppy sound. I guess I haven’t been completely worn out of this sound yet because I seem to be the only person I know that still enjoys it. But regardless of that, this album has the traditional upbeat hard rock sound that Buckcherry is known for, except it starts to go in a couple different directions during certain points of the album; which is none other than a sign of experimentation.

In 15, Buckcherry’s sound either went to a much heavier punk-oriented sound in songs like Crazy Bitch, Broken Glass, and So Far; or in a traditional soft rock ballad sound. Black Butterfly almost completely leaves the areas of the 90s punk sound and goes into a hard rock sound, which is a place that Buckcherry hasn’t ever visited before. There seems to be different types of hard rock; most of them coming from the mid-70s to late 80s. Black Butterfly has a sound that lies almost perfectly in between a really heavy sound and a really poppy sound; sometimes sliding off more in one direction or the other at times. This sort of transitioning sounds with each song is what I like to see in rock albums because a lot of today’s hard rock bands seem to stick to only one sound for each album.

Not only that, some of the songs have a more continuous, smooth flow like Rescue Me, Tired of You, Imminent Bail Out, and Fallout. And some of the songs have a more choppy, groovy feel like Talk to Me, Too Drunk…, and A Child Called “It”. There are some songs that have a unique sound of their own that set them apart from the rest of the album like Cream, which strongly reminds me of Green Day. For those of you that like the ballads from 15, there are numerous ballads that aren’t as soft sprinkled throughout this record.

Josh Todd’s voice is one of the most unique and easily recognizable singing voices I’ve ever known. It’s one of those voices that I would be able to recognize no matter what the situation was; whether it be the national anthem at the beginning of a sports game or a guest appearance in a jazz album or an Escape the Fate song. The guitar work isn’t what I would call AMAZING, but it is better than average rock guitar work. The drumming is generic but still fits the bill to make this album as strong as it is. The one musician that I wish would have more of a part is the bassist. First off, you can rarely hear what he’s playing. Second, I think that it would make the entire sound of the music sound catchier if he threw in some short bass solos/riffs here and there to keep the music more interesting. But other than that, there isn’t much that I would change about Black Butterfly, I would give this record 16/20.