Album Review: Buckcherry - Warpaint

7 March 2019 | 10:26 am | Brendan Crabb

"The strike rate of hits to misses is a fraction down compared to some recent LPs."

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When breakthrough hit Lit Up registered in 1999, Buckcherry's primal, AC/DC-inspired swagger was refreshing amid a hard rock environment smothered by bloated nu-metal and faceless post-grunge.

Two decades, several records and a series of personnel changes later, trends have come, gone and returned. Their cocksure ethos remains though, the Californian mob providing the aural equivalent of an evening of fast cars and heavy boozing in strip clubs.

They've often been a singles band in the past, rather than one whose albums were littered with underrated gems and deep cuts. That's largely true of Warpaint too, although the strike rate of hits to misses is a fraction down compared to some recent LPs. A chunk of filler and forgettable fare lets the side down. Their cover of Nine Inch Nails' Head Like A Hole – curiously enough, placed a few songs in, rather than as a tacked-on bonus track – adds little to the original. Radio Song is a solid addition to their canon of power ballads, but doesn't quite stack up compared to previous successes a la Sorry. Meanwhile, hooky and urgent Bent and the memorable title track prove standouts, and The Alarm bristles with the sleazy guitars and intent that initially enamoured them to rock audiences.

Buckcherry have their shtick down pat by now, and Warpaint offers a decent amount of cuts that will deserve inclusion in the group's “best of”-style Spotify playlists.