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Buckcherry – Fuck [EP Review]

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Buckcherry – Fuck
2014, F-Bomb Records
Buy the album

1. Somebody Fucked With Me
2. Say Fuck It
3. The Motherfucker
4. I Don’t Give A Fuck
5. It’s A Fucking Disaster
6. Fist Fuck

Band:
Josh Todd – Lead Vocals
Keith Nelson – Guitar
Stevie D. – Guitar
Kelly LeMieux – Bass
Xavier Muriel – Drums

Fuck is Buckcherry’s first EP and their first release own their own record label, F-Bomb Records. So I guess after being on loan to Century Media Records for the release of Confessions, the band is officially off the Eleven Seven Music label. This album is available at all the usual places but if you donated through the band’s pledge drive on PledgeMusic, you could get the album signed or with a t-shirt or whatever. The band is also doing something exclusively on PledgeMusic called “The Singles Club” where you get six cover songs by the band spread out over six months. I had already pledged for that and then re-pledged to get a signed copy of this EP. I will probably review all “Singles Club” releases at the end of the year once they are all released. I wouldn’t be surprised if those songs end up getting their own commercial EP release at some point.

In regards to Fuck, unfortunately the band indulged in a practice that I hate by offering a bonus track via Best Buy if you buy a physical copy of the EP there. It’s a cover of Aerosmith’s “Mama Kin”. Shouldn’t the people pledging to the band get any bonus content as well? I feel a bit ripped off by that.

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My signed copy

Have you discovered any type of theme here with the album title, song titles and even the name of the band’s record label? Yes, Buckcherry is doing their best “fuck” everything in sight. It’s a gimmick for sure and maybe a bit crass, but as long as the music is good that’s what really matters.

So just how does the music hold up? Well, as you could safely assume, the music is full of the punky rock ‘n’ roll swagger middle-finger attitude that the band has proudly displayed for years. In fact, “Somebody Fucked With Me” calls out everyone (the media, our founding fathers, lawyers, religion, teachers, parents, etc.) as Josh Todd yells “fuck them all!”

“Say Fuck It” is a cover of Icona Pop’s big hit single “I Love It”. It’s been given a major makeover though as the band made some modifications to the song title, lyrics and added in AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” riff. I had no clue who Icona Pop were or anything about the original song before Buckcherry’s version came out but I’ve read it was gigantic hit. I definitely prefer Buckcherry’s version which makes the original sound pretty lifeless. Didn’t love this cover at first but it’s grown on me.

“The Motherfucker”. Great opening riff which kinda reminds me of Motley Crue. This is a typical Buckcherry rocker (which is to say it’s good) that would fit on any Buckcherry release. “I Don’t Give a Fuck” is a bit more laidback, groovy and funky. Nothing stellar to me but I’ve read other people are really digging it.

“It’s A Fucking Disaster” starts off like a ballad but then rips into a rocker and then continues to go back and forth with the tempo. It’s the most interesting song on the EP and my favorite.

The album closes with the punky “Fist Fuck”. There’s no room for subtlety here. Sounds like something that belongs on their debut release. Sounds like filler to me.

This is a fucking good EP for Buckcherry fans to pick up. It’s only a fucking few bucks so you can’t go fucking wrong by supporting one of the most honest and authentic groups of rock ‘n’ roll motherfuckers around today. If you don’t like it, get fucked.

Metal Excess Awards 2013

2013 was an interesting year for rock/metal. Some bands delivered more than I expected them to (Stryper, Bon Jovi, Mike Tramp), a few disappointed me (Megadeth, Avenged Sevenfold, De La Cruz) and some confirmed my suspicions that they shouldn’t have released an album at all (Black Sabbath… okay, it was good but it seemed derivative of their past works).

Overall, it was a bit of a slow year for me as I focused a lot on listening to old favorites rather than having an interest in checking out and reviewing some of the latest releases.

Best Albums of 2013
1. Buckcherry – Confessions
2. Stryper – No More Hell to Pay
3. Bon Jovi – What About Now
4. Tom Keifer – The Way Life Goes
5. The Poodles – Tour de Force
6. Avantasia – The Mystery of Time
7. Reckless Love – Spirit
8. Megadeth – Super Collider
9. Jorn – Traveller
10. Mike Tramp – Cobblestone Street

Best Live Albums
1. Whitesnake – Made In Britain / The World Record
2. Dio – Finding the Sacred Heart: Live in Philly 1986
3. Def Leppard – Viva! Hysteria
4. Whitesnake – Made In Japan
5. Great White – 30 Years: Live from the Sunset Strip

Best EPs
1. Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington – High Rise
2. The 69 Eyes – Love Runs Away
3. Skid Row – United World Rebellion: Chapter One

Best Compilation/Cover Albums
1. Stryper – Second Coming
2. Kelly Clarkson – Wrapped in Red
3. Buckcherry – The Best of Buckcherry
4. Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Upon the Winter Solstice
5. Jorn – Symphonic

Most Anticipated New Releases for 2014
Alice Cooper
Judas Priest
Motley Crue
Sebastian Bach
Whitesnake

Buckcherry – The Best of Buckcherry [Review]

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Buckcherry – The Best of Buckcherry
2013, Eleven Seven Music

Buy the album at Amazon.com

1. Lit Up
2. For the Movies
3. Ridin’
4. Sorry
5. Next 2 You
6. Everything
7. Crazy Bitch
8. Rescue Me
9. Rose
10. All Night Long
11. Gluttony
12. Nothing Left But Tears

Shortly after announcing the departure of bassist Jimmy Ashhurst, Buckcherry gets their first compilation album. After 15 years and a few hit albums and songs, it was definitely time for one.

I don’t have many complaints about the tracks chosen. “Rose” is kind of headscratcher. Good song, but its inclusion seems random because it’s the only track here that was never released as a single. I guess the band just really likes that song. I probably would have included “It’s a Party” from the All Night Long album in its place. I would consider the rest of the album to be pretty spot on for the casual Buckcherry fan. Every album seems to be represented well.

I have more than a few personal favorites I could’ve chosen if someone tasked me with creating a “best of” album for the band, but as someone who already owns all of their albums, I’m not upset over this tracklisting. I know it’s not meant for me. I am surprised and slightly disappointed there’s nothing rare here though. No live tracks, no new studio track, no unreleased songs, not even a song from their Reckless Sons EP (which truly does feature some of the best of Buckcherry). Including some rare or new gem is usually a good way to throw the hardcore fans a bone to get them to buy a compilation, but they didn’t even bother here.

This isn’t truly a “best of” release being that it’s mostly centered around the band’s highest charting and most recent singles. Still, it’s a good compilation for someone that doesn’t have the interest in picking up all of the band’s albums. This is a good overview of the band and it’s got the band’s biggest radio hits and that should be enough for some people.

buckcherry.com
facebook.com/buckcherry

Buckcherry – Confessions (Deluxe Edition) [Review]

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Buckcherry – Confessions [Deluxe Edition]
2013, Century Media Records

Disc 1 – CD:
1. “Gluttony”
2. “Wrath”
3. “Nothing Left But Tears”
4. “The Truth”
5. “Greed”
6. “Water”
7. “Seven Ways To Die”
8. “Air”
9. “Sloth”
10. “Pride”
11. “Envy”
12. “Lust”
13. “Dreamin’ of You”
Bonus Tracks
14. “Give ‘Em What They Want”
15. “When the Fire Starts”

Disc 2 – DVD:
1. “The Story Behind “Confessions””
2. “Gluttony” (Official Music Video)
3. “On the Set: Gluttony Video Shoot”
4. “Gluttony” (Official Lyric Video)

Band:
Josh Todd – Lead Vocals
Keith Nelson – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Stevie D. – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Jimmy Ashhurst – Bass
Xavier Muriel – Drums, Percussion

Additional Musicians:
Jimmy Nichols – Keyboards

Producer: Keith Nelson & Marti Frederiksen

I find it hilarious that a bunch of heavy metal knuckle-heads are up in arms that Century Media had the audacity to sign Buckcherry and release one of their albums. The truth is Eleven Seven Music has licensed out the North American rights for Confessions to Century Media. Regardless, I’ve seen the ignorant comments on Facebook, YouTube and various metal sites claiming that Century Media is a label for “true metal” (whatever that is) and that Buckcherry are nothing more than “hair metal posers” that “suck” and that they don’t deserve to be associated with a metal label such as Century Media.

Well, maybe Century Media wants to expand their musical horizons beyond the likes of Finntroll, Necrowretch and Vattnet Viskar? If you don’t like Buckcherry, don’t listen to them! Simple as that. You’ll certainly never see me buying a Winds of Plague album.

Label controversy aside, when I heard Buckcherry was planning on releasing a concept album, I was a bit skeptical. I’m a huge fan of all of the band’s albums but I DON’T like concept albums at all. Plus, Buckcherry isn’t really the type of band you’d think would ever release a concept album. I suppose Confessions is really more of a theme album though. The theme? The seven deadly sins. “Okay, cool,” I thought to myself, “I can see a band like Buckcherry making that work”.

But Confessions doesn’t just “work”. It excels. The lead single “Gluttony” is 100% Buckcherry. It’s what you expect from the band. Bratty, sleazy and in-your-face. It’s an anthem. The rest of the album takes a slightly different tone. The lyrics are darker (written by Josh Todd, they are autobiographical) and the music is bit more serious. I’ve seen a number of other reviews state that the band has traded riffs for melodies and while I hope there’s a balance to be struck on future albums, I had to agree in reference to Confessions.

Songs like “Pride” (my favorite song from this album) and “Envy” (which should be released as a single at some point) are fine examples of the band imploring melodies instead of great riffing. Still, songs like “Gluttony”, “Wrath”, “Seven Ways to Die” and “Lust” supply the guitar goods.

When I first listened to the album nothing other than “Gluttony” struck me as a Buckcherry song. Listening to it now, the whole album has grown on me. I love it. It’s going to be tough to beat this as the best album of 2013 but it is a bit different than anything the band has done before. I mean that in a good way though. There aren’t really a lot of singles here. While the songs are definitely appealing, none of them seem like they were written with commercial appeal in mind. This is an ALBUM that needs to be listened through again and again.

The deluxe CD edition comes with a bonus DVD but I mostly bought it for the two additional bonus tracks that come with the CD. “Give ‘Em What They Want” and “When The Fire Starts” are both great riff rockers much more in the typical Buckcherry vein. I can see why they didn’t make it to the main album, not because they aren’t good but because they don’t fit in with the sound of Confessions. For a few bucks more and two awesome songs, the deluxe edition is well worth seeking out.

No matter the format, Buckcherry has delivered what might be their best & most consistent album to date. This isn’t a party album like their previous releases have been but it’s still a great rock record by one of the best rock bands going today.

Highlights: ALL OF IT

http://www.buckcherry.com/
http://www.facebook.com/buckcherry

Buy the album at Amazon.com

Metal Excess Awards 2012

Despite 2012 being a year where a number of major classic rock acts reappeared with new albums (KISS, Van Halen, Aerosmith), I was slightly disappointed with the rock scene overall. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that I’ve listened to less music in 2012 than I have compared to the previous 5 years or so. Whether it’s because I’m getting too old or getting too busy, I didn’t sit down and listen to or write about as much music as I have since I started this blog a few years back. I haven’t been paying attention to the world of hard rock & heavy metal as I should have. Forgive me. Maybe I can make up for it in 2013.
Anyway, here’s my contribution to the millions of “Best of 2012” lists that are already all over the internet!
Best Albums of 2012
As I said, 2012 didn’t seem like an incredibly bright year for rock releases but that doesn’t mean I’m knocking some of the cream of the crop. Rick Springfield (of all people!) delivered a classic album that I just had to give the #1 spot based on how much I played it. My Darkest Days had yet another incredibly strong release. Other than Hess at #7, the rest of the top 10 is made up of veteran artists who know how to get the job done.
1.Rick Springfield – Songs for the End of the World
2. My Darkest Days – Sick and Twisted Affair
3. KISS – Monster
4. Van Halen – A Different Kind of Truth
5. Aerosmith – Songs from Another Dimension!
6. Adler – Back From The Dead
7. Mollo/Martin – The Third Cage
8. Hess – Living In Yesterday
9. Slash – Apocalyptic Love
10. Dokken – Broken Bones
11. Great White – Elation
12. Richie Sambora – Aftermath of the Lowdown
13. Jorn – Bring Heavy Rock to the Land
14. Jack Blades – Rock ‘N’ Roll Ride
15. Trixter – New Audio Machine
16. Lita Ford – Living Like a Runaway
17. Crazy Lixx – Riot Avenue
18. Hinder – Welcome to the Freak Show
19. Million Dollar Reload – A Sinner’s Saint
20. The Morning After – Legacy
21. Heart – Fanatic
22. Accept – Stalingrad
23. Papa Roach – The Connection
23. Zerokings – Kings of Self Destruction
24. Primal Fear – Unbreakable
25. Fozzy – Sin and Bones

Missed Them in 2012…

These are releases from 2012 that I’ve heard some songs from but I haven’t listened to the entire album yet. I wouldn’t have felt right trying to place them on the list without having heard the complete album. Look for reviews of these albums soon.

* Danko Jones – Rock and Roll is Black and Blue
* Black Country Communion – Afterglow
* L.A. Guns – Hollywood Forever (from what I’ve heard, this probably would’ve made my Top 10)
* Jettblack – Raining Rock
* The Last Vegas – Bad Decisions
* Ian Gillan & Tony Iommi: WhoCares
* Overkill – The Electric Age
* T & N – Slave to the Empire
* Lynch Mob – Sound Mountain Session EP

Best EP/Compilation/Cover/Singles

The “everything else” category.

1. Richard Marx – Christmas Spirit
2. Dio – The Very Beast of Dio, Vol. 2
3. Rod Stewart – Merry Christmas, Baby
4. John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John – This Christmas
5. TSO – Dreams of Fireflies (On a Christmas Night) EP
6. Dee Snider – Dee Does Broadway
7. Buckcherry – “Gluttony” [single]
8. Motley Crue – “Sex” [single]
9. Wildstreet – “Easy Does It” [single]

Most Anticipated in 2013

Judas Priest:   Slated for sometime in 2013, this is easily the most anticipated album for me. I’m looking forward to and hoping Priest will deliver a classic sounding metal album and forget about overblown concept records. It’s just a shame KK Downing isn’t along for the ride but I think having some young blood in Priest might actually help push them to be heavier, harder and faster. The same thing happened when Scott Travis joined the band. I’d still love to see Downing come back at some point though. Why not have six members of Judas Priest?

Buckcherry – Confessions (Feb. 19): The lead single “Gluttony” has already been released and I’m really enjoying it. These guys do not disappoint.

My Darkest Days (fall): These guys have released two of my favorite albums from the last few years and are already writing for a follow up to last year’s Sick and Twisted Affair with a new studio album in the fall. I’m hoping the recent departure of guitarist Sal Costa wouldn’t delay the release.

Avenged Sevenfold: No timetable for a new album other than 2013. The band is supposedly going to begin recording this month.

Motley Crue: Another “sometime in 2013″ release. The question is — LP or EP? Vince Neil has mentioned it will be an EP and that’s more in line with what Tommy Lee has stated he’d like for the band to release from now on. Nikki Sixx has been referring to the next Crue release as an “album”, so I guess we’ll see. The single they released in the summer (“Sex”) was decent and seems to fit in with the modern rock turn Crue has taken since 2005.

Black Sabbath: Originally meant for 2012, all kinds of legal issues and drama have slowed this one down. Pretty stupid if they don’t end up pulling Bill Ward in but I’m interested just because I’m a fan of Iommi & Butler. In fact, bring back Ward and get rid of Ozzy and I’d feel even better about this reunion album. My preference is still for Iommi & Butler to form a new band with either Tony Martin (long shot), Jorn Lande, Ian Gillan or Glenn Hughes.

Megadeth: I dunno… Megadeth is one of my all-time favorite bands so I’m always interested but with each release I’m finding less and less to like. Yes, they are getting heavier and faster. Perhaps they are the heaviest and fastest they’ve ever been but Dave seems to be forsaking melody to do it. Seems like he’d rather go off on political rants and conspiracy theories than write memorable songs.

AC/DC: One of those bands that myself & radio have played out to the point where I’m kinda numb to them. But, Black Ice was far better than I ever imagined it could be so I’m definitely interested in new music. This past spring Malcolm Young said a new album would be out in a “year or two”. Here’s hoping it’ll be released in 2013.

Tom Keifer (spring) – I’m a big fan of Cinderella. People have been asking for a new Cinderella album for over 10 years now. I’m not sure why Tom would decide to a solo release instead but I’m not going to complain.

Deep Purple: Ian Gillan said they were planning a new release. Hopefully they follow through!

Anthrax: I think it was Joey Belladonna who stated in interview this past summer than they wanted to release something new in 2013.

Hardcore Superstar – C’mon Take On Me (March 1)

Black Veil Brides – Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones (January 8): I surprisingly enjoyed their last album. Looking forward to hearing whether they’ve kept the same sound or going even more glam/power metal than before.

Crashdiet – The Savage Playground (late January)

Bon Jovi – What About Now (March 26): I’m not a fan of the lead single, “Because We Can”. I actually haven’t been a fan of the last few albums either but I was optimistic because I liked all four new songs they released with the deluxe version of their latest greatest hits compilation. I can’t help but get excited when a new Bon Jovi album is coming out but I would not be surprised if this album was only good for a ballad or two.

Looking Forward to in 2012…

2012 is shaping up to be another spectacular year for rock music. This is a year that is going to see releases from KISS, Judas Priest, Aerosmith, Van Halen and Black Sabbath. WHAT YEAR IS THIS ?!?

In no particular order, here’s what I’m definitely picking up in 2o12:

AcceptStalingrad (April)
Accept really blew me away with Blood of the Nations. The band has proven there is life without Udo. In fact, I think many people would prefer the current line-up over the classic Accept roster at this point.

Crazy Lixx – Riot Avenue (April)
These solid modern glam-metallers are currently in the studio working on their 3rd album.

KISS – Monster (Spring)
Obviously, this is the album I’m looking forward to most. Sonic Boom was a triumphant return to the studio for these guys, now that the wheels are well-oiled, I think Monster has potential to be even better.

SunstormEmotional Fire (February)
I missed out on the last Sunstorm despite good reviews. In the past year I’ve come to appreciate AOR/melodic rock more so I think I’m going to try out this Joe Lynn Turner-fronted side project when it’s released.

Crashdiet
No date yet set by these sleaze rockers but they are supposedly in the writing process now. I’m guessing sometime in the Fall.

Black Sabbath (Fall/Winter)
Another highly anticipated album for me because I’m really curious what it’s going to sound like. I’m not a big Ozzy fan, either as a solo artist or in Sabbath. I’d much rather see Iommi w/ Geezer go on to new projects (Iommi needs to give Tony Martin another call) but I still will be pre-ordering this one. My expectations aren’t all that high though given who is singing. I feel like he and Sharon are going to bring everyone else down to his mediocre level. Still, it’s exciting to know that new Iommi riffs and solos are coming.

Aerosmith (May)
So much prima donna drama in this camp over the last 5 years or so but hopefully that’s gone long enough to give us a new album. Granted,  I don’t really expect much from these guys in terms of, well… anything anymore. They’re kind of a joke at this point but with the legendary Jack Douglas back on as producer, I have no doubts that he’ll drag something out of them that’s better than the last studio album (2001’s Just Push Play).

Van Halen (February 7)
Geez, it was starting to look like the new Chinese Democracy, wasn’t it? No album title has been released yet but a release date has been and the first single will be released on January 10. Van Halen is another band that has become a joke over the years (despite the last tour getting rave reviews) but I have a good feeling about this album. The first album with Roth since 1984 and 1984! Rumored titles have been The Future and 2012 but I don’t think either will turn out to be true. Maybe IV though..?

Judas Priest
The band hasn’t definitely said a new album is coming in 2012 but they’ve been working on new material for a while now and seem to be looking at 2012 for releasing it. It’s a different songwriting dynamic now though. Instead of Halford/Downing/Tipton, it’s just Halford/Tipton. By all accounts, new guitarist Richie Faulkner is carrying his weight in a live setting so I think the album is going to turn out quite good. I do think it’s time the band delivers a straight ahead metal album though. Angel of Retribution and Nostradamus were good but not excellent. The band really hasn’t given the world that kick-ass classic metal album that they should’ve already done since Halford has come back. They really need a PainkillerHell Bent for Leather or British Steel at this point and keep it simple.

Primal Fear – Unbreakable (late January)
I have heard this album. It’s good. Plan on reviewing it soon.

Mollo/Martin – The Third Cage (late January)
See above. It’s great to have a new album out with Tony Martin on vocals.

Buckcherry
Maybe wishful thinking on my part but they were working on new material this past summer so hopefully something new will appear by next summer.

The Last Vegas The Other Side
No date announced yet but they recently released the free digital Other Side E.P. so I’d imagine we’ll have the new album by the spring.

Slash
His first solo album was one of the best records from the last few years and this time, Myles Kennedy is singing all the songs. Everything is written, all that’s left to do is record the songs so I’m guessing spring for this one as well.

Trans-Siberian OrchestraRomanov: What Kings Must Whisper
The second non-holiday from TSO, it was actually planned to be their first album way back in 1994 but they held on it while trying to get a Broadway musical out of it first. Night Castle was dark and cool while still keeping that trademark blend of metal, rock and classical music, I expect more of the same here.

Dokken
With a deal in place with Frontiers Records for the new album, I’m expecting something special despite never being a huge Dokken fan. Lightning Strikes Again was good enough for me to be interested in a follow-up. The plan, as of this past November, was to have recording completed by February.

Stryper
This album was actually delayed from this past year in favor of recording and releasing the excellent The Covering album of cover songs. According to Michael Sweet, two albums are in the works: the first will be an album of re-recordings (Why? Can we stop this trend, please?)  followed by an album of all-new material written in the same heavy, edgy vein as “God” from The Covering.

M-Pire of Evil
M-Pire of Evil is the renamed Primevil which itself was the reunited late ’80s/early ’90s line-up of Venom that featured Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan on vocals/bass . I’m not well-versed on the comings and goings of the Venom roster but the “classic” line-up is split into two different bands right now. Conrad “Cronos” Lant is leading Venom with a few newer guys while the other two “classic” members (Jeff “Mantas” Dunn & Anthony “Abaddon” Bray) have hooked up again with Dolan for M-Pire of Evil.

They released an EP this past summer called The Creatures of the Black, which was pretty good and I liked the Prime Evil album (the only Venom release I’ve heard from this line-up) so I’m looking forward to a full length album. I couldn’t find anything resembling a release date but going by the band’s Facebook page, it should be soon because they’ve been teasing releasing the album cover.

Tooth And Nail (March)
The band that features 3/4 of the classic Dokken line-up. How does “Wild” Mick Brown still retain a position in Dokken while joining Tooth And Nail? Given Don Dokken’s reputation, you’d think he’d have been fired from Dokken by now. I mean, this band was named after a Dokken album and they’ve gloated over the fact that Don Dokken isn’t in the group (bassist Jeff Pilson will handle vocals). What’s weird is that on the band’s Facebook page, they list current Whitesnake drummer Brian Tichy as a member as well… I guess he’s there for the live shows in case Brown has to go off and play in Dokken?

I’m probably forgetting a few more albums but oh well!

Buckcherry – Christmas Is Here

Buckcherry – Christmas Is Here [single] (2010, Eleven Seven Music)

1. “Christmas Is Here” … 3:10

Band:
Josh Todd – Lead Vocals
Keith Nelson – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Stevie D. – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Jimmy Ashhurst – Bass, Backing Vocals
Xavier Muriel – Drums, Percussion

“Christmas Is Here” is an exclusive digital single that was released in November 2010 just in time for the holiday season. I bought my copy through iTunes but it’s available at all major digital music stores.

There’s really not a whole lot to say about this single other than I like it a lot. I’m a huge fan of Christmas music (mostly the traditional tunes sung by crooners like Crosby, Sinatra, Cole, Como, Martin, Mathis and even Michael Buble) so when I found out Buckcherry was releasing a Christmas song I was very excited to check it out since BC is one of my favorite bands.

Honestly though I wasn’t expecting much, thinking this was basically going to be a throwaway track but I loved the song upon first listen. It’s not a rockin’ Christmas song like “Run Rudolph Run” or “Jingle Bell Rock”, instead BC takes a jingle jangle mid-tempo pace. It’s a laid back, feel good Christmas rock ‘n’ roll song. I think a lot of contemporary Christmas songs fall flat but “Christmas Is Here” is a modern classic and a song I’ll be playing for many holidays to come. Makes me feel all warm ‘n’ fuzzy inside and positive about the entire season and isn’t that what a great Christmas song should do? I hope it’ll be issued as a bonus track at some point on a CD.

So, is there anything these guys can’t do? Kick-ass rockers, great ballads and now great Christmas music. Best band from the last 15 years easily.

www.buckcherry.com
www.facebook.com/buckcherry
www.twitter.com/buckcherry

Buy ‘Christmas Is Here’ from Amazon.com

The Metal Excess Awards: 2010 Edition

I’m really surprised by how many albums I enjoyed this year. I have a pitiful memory so I had to go back through my blog to remind myself what came out this year but I was floored when my Top 10 list was changed to a Top 20 list, then to a Top 30 list! I knocked it back down to a Top 25 list to make it seem a tiny bit more exclusive.

If you haven’t checked out any of these 25 albums, I wholeheartedly recommend you do so. 2010 was an amazing year for rock & metal, much MUCH better than 2009. I don’t see how 2011 can compete!

I’ll keep it short and sweet with my awards. As always, check the links for full reviews.

Best Albums of 2010

1. Avenged Sevenfold – Nightmare
2. Buckcherry – All Night Long
3. Scorpions – Sting in the Tail
4. Halford – Made of Metal
5. Slash – s/t
6. Black Country Communion – s/t
7. Avantasia – Angel of Babylon
8. Avantasia – The Wicked Symphony
9. Accept – Blood of the Nations
10. Hinder – All American Nightmare
11. Jettblack – Get Your Hands Dirty
12. Reckless Love – s/t
13. Bad City – Welcome to the Wasteland
14. Stone Temple Pilots – s/t
15. Iron Maiden – The Final Frontier
16. Krokus – Hoodoo
17. Helloween – 7 Sinners
18. Sister Sin – True Sound of the Underground
19. My Darkest Days – s/t
20. Stereoside – s/t
21. Y&T – Facemelter
22. Danko Jones – Below The Belt
23. Grave Digger – The Clans Will Rise Again
24. Jon Oliva’s Pain – Festival
25. Ratt – Infestation

Top Cover Albums

Seems like every year a few established artists like to cover a few *other* established artists, not to mention all those various tribute albums that small labels will slap together. Well, here’s my official ranking of the three cover albums I bothered to listen to this year. Luckily, all three albums were good fun and I think they all deserve another mention.

1. Jorn – Dio
2. Vince Neil – Tattoos & Tequila
3. Joe Elliott’s Down ‘N’ Outz – My ReGeneration Vol. 1

Top Live Albums

Again, I don’t buy a lot of live albums, but here’s how I rank what I listened to this year.

1. Dio – Dio at Donington UK: Live 1983 & 1987
2. Heaven & Hell – Neon Nights: 30 Years of Heaven & Hell – Live In Europe
3. Megadeth – Rust In Peace Live
4. The Michael Schenker Group – The 30th Anniversary Concert: Live in Tokyo

Top EPs

1. Razorwyre – Coming Out
2. Skull Fist – Heavier Than Metal
3. DesDemon – The Awakening

Most Disappointing Albums

1. Ratt – Infestation
The album was good, don’t get me wrong. It landed at #25 on my Best Of list for Dio’s sake! But… most of the songs had trouble living up to the promise of “Eat Me Up Alive” and “Best Of Me”.

2. Armored Saint – La Raza
A bland album from a band that has done so much better. They seemed to be going through the motions (to which John Bush has basically admitted in regards to himself). Symbol of Salvation this ain’t.

3. White Wizzard – Over The Top
The High Speed GTO EP garnered this group a lot of hype and buzz. We all fell for it, I know reviews for this album have been positive and it’s not bad but I expected more. Hopefully a second album will get these guys where they need to be.

4. Raven – Walk Through Fire
The terrible cover art should’ve tipped me off that this album was nothing special.

 

Check out these other sites for even more lists and year-end awards:

All Metal Resource — http://allmetalresource.com/

Bring Back Glam — http://bringbackglam.squarespace.com/

Hair Metal Mansion — http://hairbangersradio.ning.com/

Hard Rock Hideout — http://hardrockhideout.com/

Hard Rock Nights — http://hardrocknights.wordpress.com/

Heavy Metal Addiction —  http://heavymetaladdiction.com

Heavy Metal Time Machine — http://metalmark.blogspot.com/

Imagine Echoes — http://www.imagineechoes.com/

Layla’s Classic Rock — http://laylasclassicrock.blogspot.com/

The Metal Minute — http://rayvanhornjr.blogspot.com/

Metal Odyssey — http://metalodyssey.wordpress.com/

The Ripple Effect — http://www.ripplemusic.blogspot.com/

 

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2 – Music From and Inspired By

Mission: Impossible 2 – Music From and Inspired By (2000, Hollywood Records)

1. “Take a Look Around” – Limp Bizkit … 5:20
2. “I Disappear” – Metallica … 4:26
3. “Scum of the Earth” – Rob Zombie … 2:55
4. “They Came In” – Butthole Surfers … 4:42
5. “Rocket Science” – The Pimps … 3:30
6. “Have a Cigar” – Foo Fighters & Brian May … 4:02
7. “Mission 2000” – Chris Cornell … 3:42
8. “Goin’ Down” – Godsmack … 3:23
9. “What ‘Chu Lookin’ At?” – Uncle Kracker … 5:11
10. “Backwards” – Apartment 26 … 3:09
11. “Karma” – Diffuser … 3:16
12. “Alone” – Buckcherry …3:23
13. “Immune” – Tinfed … 3:49
14. “My Kinda Scene” – Powderfinger … 4:26
15. “Carnival” – Tori Amos … 4:18
16. “Nyah” – Hans Zimmer & Heitor Pereira … 3:32

Ordered this one online for dirt cheap all because I wanted the Metallica and Buckcherry songs that were exclusive to this album.

A number of singles were released from this album: Limp Bizkit’s “Take a Look Around” (a rap-metal reworking of the Mission: Impossible theme), “I Disappear” and the Foo Fighters/Brian May cover of Pink Floyd’s “Have a Cigar” spring to mind. The local radio stations seemed to be all over the Limp Bizkit single (it was 2000, after all, and rap-metal was all the rage) and “I Disappear” received substantial play as well.

I love “I Disappear”. I think it’s one of Metallica’s best songs. Sure it’s not heavy metal but it’s a great hard rock tune and whenever I heard it on the radio I felt compelled to drive faster. Maybe the music video of James Hetfield speeding around had something to do with that!

Once again showing myself becoming ever more the completist, Buckcherry’s “Alone” is what truly made me decide to buy this album. I didn’t even realize they were on this soundtrack until recently and the song is exclusive to this soundtrack so I had to own this. It’s a pretty good tune, not a career highlight for the band, but I like it and it’s a lot better than most of the songs here.

As you can tell by looking at the artists involved, this is mostly an alternative rock/metal album with most acts turning in the usual generic songs that has come to be expected from soundtracks. Chris Cornell’s “Mission 2000” is decent and despite the title, it’s not some type of remix or variation on the M:I theme — it’s a new, harder version of the song “Mission” which was on his excellent Euphoria Morning solo debut from the year previous.

To be honest, most of this soundtrack is garbage but I only spent a few bucks and got out of it what I expected to get out of it so I guess it’s not a total loss.

Highlights: “I Disappear”, “Have a Cigar”, “Mission 2000”, “Alone”

BUCKCHERRY – All Night Long

Buckcherry – All Night Long [Best Buy Exclusive Limited Edition] (2010, Eleven Seven Music)

Disc 1: All Night Long

1. “All Night Long” … 3:54
2. “It’s a Party” … 3:44
3. “These Things” … 3:52
4. “Oh My Lord” … 3:38
5. “Recovery” … 3:01
6. “Never Say Never” … 3:43
7. “I Want You” … 3:43
8. “Liberty” … 4:16
9. “Our World” … 3:50
10. “Bliss” … 3:56
11. “Dead” … 5:24

Disc 2: Reckless Sons Acoustic EP

1. ‘These Things” … 3:58
2. “Fire Off Your Guns”  … 3:46
3. “Black Butterfly” … 3:47
4. “King of Kings” … 4:49
5. “My Friend” … 3:58
6. “Grace” … 4:20

Band:
Josh Todd – Lead Vocals
Keith Nelson – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Stevie D. – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Jimmy Ashhurst – Bass, Backing Vocals
Xavier Muriel – Drums, Percussion

Producer: Marti Frederikson & Keith Nelson

All Night Long is one of my most anticipated albums for 2010. The release of the singles “All Night Long” and “Our World” gave me great hope for this album. I was a big supporter of this band when their debut album hit back in ’99 but then they kinda drifted away after the release of Time Bomb but made a great rock ‘n’ roll comeback with 15 in 2006. 2008’s Black Butterfly was the band’s finest moment in my opinion (though most disagree) and their Live & Loud 2009 release is one of my favorite live albums of all time. I guess maybe in my eyes this band can do no wrong at this point. I’ve been lucky enough to see them in concert three times and they’re one of few real rock bands left. They have a classic sound and look but aren’t retro. Simply put, Buckcherry is good sleazy rock ‘n’ roll.

I pre-ordered the Best Buy edition because it was only $9.99 and also it comes with an “exclusive” second disc — the Reckless Sons Acoustic EP. Well, I guess Best Buy is correct in saying this version of Reckless Sons is exclusive because while they are offering six acoustic tracks, iTunes is offering seven (an acoustic version of “Sorry” is the extra track). It’s a shame digital music gets preferred treatment these days but that’s just the way it goes when CD sales continue to drop. I don’t download albums so I guess I’ll have to settle for this inferior Best Buy version of the EP.

The Acoustic EP is good for what it is. The original plan for the album was for all of it to be acoustic but they scrapped that idea presumably after all these acoustic songs were written. The songs are what you would expect: ballads and mid-tempo numbers. Not really something I would want a full album of but for bonus content it’s pretty good. Some of these songs would have fit in well onto the actual All Night Long album. The song “Black Butterfly” was actually written for the album of the same name but for whatever reason was not included.

As for the actual All Night Long album, for any that were disappointed by the detour the band took a bit with Black Butterfly, I think they’ll find much to like here. The album is straight-forward meat & potatoes rock ‘n’ roll. It’s Buckcherry doing what they do best — sleazy rock songs about sex and partying. There is no “Crazy Bitch” or “Too Drunk…” here and maybe that’s a good thing. I’m glad they’re not trying to re-write previous hits. I have found every single song to be enjoyable, no filler here.  Of course, there’s the few obligatory ballads but I think that’s an area where Buckcherry excels. “These Things” and “I Want You” fit in just fine with the rest of the great ballads this band has written.

In a cool nod to their debut, the album cover and inside art features photos of a live model made up to look like the painting of the girl on the cover of their debut. Apparently, her name is “Cherry Girl”. And the real girl is pretty hot!

Okay, I do have one complaint — the first disc seems to have trouble playing my computer. Reckless Sons will play just fine but All Night Long seems to have a 99.9% fail rate on this computer. I have tried it on a laptop, two DVD players and a car and it plays there fine with no problems but I guess it hates my computer. I’ve only been able to get it to play once and that was after I had restarted the computer. I ended up ejecting the disc to listen to Reckless Sons and then went to put All Night Long back in and it was back to not playing! This is very frustrating because I listen to 98% of my music on my computer.

Other than that, this is an amazing release and it’s a very strong contender to be my favorite album of the year.

Highlights: “All Night Long”, “These Things”, “Oh My Lord”, “Never Say Never”, “I Want You”, “Our World”, “Dead”, “Fire Off Your Guns”, “My Friend”

www.buckcherry.com
www.myspace.com/buckcherry

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