Something Old, Something New Album Review
Steve

Steve

Music Columnist

Something Old, Something New Album Review

Hey everyone, sorry for the extended wait time in between the last article and this one. But that’s for three reasons;
June/July is my busiest time of year next to October/November. Between my job(I do HVAC when I’m not writing articles, and June is usually one of our busiest months where I’m at), and the final month of school for our kids and adjusting into summer life. Those are two reasons. The last reason is that the New album I wanted to review didn’t come out until June 25th. For Episode 8 of Something Old, Something New Album Review, I’m reviewing 2 rock albums. But not just rock albums, rock albums that lean heavily towards HAIR METAL!! My absolute favorite summertime music is Hair Metal. Motley Crue, WASP, Ratt, Skid Row, those are my summertime jams. So I’m gonna review a classic 80’s album, and then a new album by a band from LA that was heavily inspired by that scene.

Something Old

Faster Pussycat – Wake Me When It’s Over
1989 Elektra Records
Rating: 4/5

Going with Motley Crue here would have been an easy choice, but they already get a lot of attention. One of the many LA bands that emerged from the wake of the Crue’s success was Faster Pussycat. They had more of the sleazy black leather jacket vibe like Guns N Roses than the lipstick and hairspray vibe of a band like Poison. Their debut record dropped in ’87 and had a typical hair metal sound with a little of that sleazy vibe I mentioned, including a song called “Cathouse”, about the famous LA club that singer Taime Downe ran with MTV’s Headbangers Ball host Riki Rachtman. 

Their second record however, 1989’s “Wake Me When It’s Over” showed the type of growth a band gets when they get some miles beneath their feet on the road and takes in some influences. The record had much more of a blues influence as they started moving away from a pure glam sound. The album opener “Where There’s a Whip, There’s A Way” is more of a fleshed out and well constructed song than anything on their debut, and it’s a hell of a track, my personal favorite on the album. “Poison Ivy” is another great tune, but the one that most will remember from this album is the hit ballad “House Of Pain”, which compared to all the other ballads coming out at the time, was fairly unique. The rest of the record is basically above average bluesy hair metal, but is definitely worth a listen. A nearly forgotten classic from the late 80’s. After one more major label record, the band has been off and on since, dabbling in industrial music at times, but still touring playing their classics.

Something New

Buckcherry – Hellbound
2021 Round Hill Records
Rating: 3.75/5

This is about as new as it’s gonna get, as this record was released roughly a month ago. I had to wait for it to be released to listen to it. Buckcherry is a band that as of this writing has been around for almost 27 years as they were formed in 1995. They gained a near instant following in their home base of LA. The nucleus of the band, singer Josh Todd and guitarist Keith Nelson had started in the LA music scene just as the record buying public was tiring of hair metal and LA rock sound. They stuck to their rock n’ roll roots however, found each other and in 1999 their debut album came out. Containing the hits “Lit Up” and “For The Movies”, the album went gold in America and the band was well on their way.

Unfortunately with their second record, 2001’s Time Bomb, they let it all hang out and upped the raunch factor 10 fold. That may have been great in the 80’s, but in 2001, it made the novelty wear off faster. “Ridin'” was a fantastic lead off single and they had some high profile tours booked, but the album flopped, they lost their record deal and by 2002 they went on hiatus. Josh Todd released a solo album but by 2005 Todd and Nelson had reformed the band and put together songs that would become their comeback record, 15. Off the back of the mega singles, “Crazy Bitch” and “Sorry”, it became their most successful record. More solid albums followed, members came and went, but I personally lost interest in 2017 when founding guitarist Keith Nelson left the band. The tracks I did hear from their 2019 record Warpaint didn’t get me back in, but I thought I’d give their new music a shot. The new record “Hellbound” is good but not breaking new ground. That’s not a bad thing though. Buckcherry is a meat and potatoes rock band, and here they serve you meat and potatoes. Fans would be confused if all the sudden they served up some catfish gumbo. I do have to say it’s better than what I heard from their previous record. Longtime guitarist Stevie D does a good job holding down the riffs. The opening 1+2 punch of “54321” and “So Hott” are pretty fresh and energetic sounding, exactly what you want from a pair of album openers. The title track is next and slows it to a midpaced groove and is also a catchy track. I have to say there isn’t a bad track on the record. It ends on a high note with one of my favorites “Barricade”. I have to admit, as a long time fan I went into this not expecting a whole hell of a lot. I do miss Keith Nelsons heavy handed rock n’ roll rhythm guitar that always reminded me of Malcom Young, but I listened to the album 3 times in a row while having some beers and bbq’ing and….I like it. It’s a great summertime record. This one will definitely get more summertime listens.

Thanks again for reading! I hope everyone is enjoying your summer, check out these jams if you haven’t and let me know what you think! You can find me @Stevedestruct on Instagram.

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