Album review: Buckcherry – Hellbound

A quarter of a century in, Californian rockers Buckcherry continue to raise hell…

The title-track to Buckcherrys ninth studio album not only boasts an AC/DC-sized stomper of a riff, it is essentially the California band’s own version of Highway To Hell. Inspired by the time a 15-year-old Josh Todd played his first show at an Orange County house party and knew that rock’n’roll had its claws in him, Hellbound recalls the start of a journey that’s still going strong today.

Buckcherry have at times suffered by comparison to the classic rock bands that came before them, but those Guns N’ Roses, AC/DC and Aerosmith similarities still stand. It should be remembered, though, that the frontman is a lifer and that Buckcherry have done more than most to keep this music alive through often lean times. And, more than two decades after the release of their self-titled debut album, they still have a fire burning in their bellies.

Okay, so Todd is the sole remaining member and Hellbound was preceded by yet more line-up changes. As an entity, though, Buckcherry are still bringing it right here and now. Opener 54321 kicks things up with a punk-fuelled jab, while Gun hauls out the harmonica and saunters with an insouciant Aerosmith groove. Here I Come is a bundle of energy with a driving GN’R-flavoured riff, and Wasting No More Time channels The Beatles’ Dear Prudence into a big, phones-in-the-air stadium rock moment. 

There are no real surprises here. The Way is a standard power ballad and there are standard rock moves and poses pulled throughout. Not all the songs really stand out but there’s still enough here to keep that rock‘n’roll fire burning.

Verdict: 3/5

For fans of: Guns N’ Roses, AC/DC, Aerosmith

Hellbound is out on 25 June via Earache Records.

READ THIS: The 20 greatest AC/DC songs – ranked

Posted on June 22nd 2021, 12:22p.m.
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