Vol. 10

Round Hill
rating icon 7.5 / 10

Track listing:

01. This And That
02. Good Time
03. Keep On Fighting
04. Turn It On
05. Feels Like Love
06. One And Only
07. Shine Your Light
08. Let's Get Wild
09. With You
10. Pain
11. Summer Of 69

Formed in the mid-'90s, largely contrary to the prevailing musical winds, BUCKCHERRY were never the likeliest two-decade survivors, but as they approach the end of their third (the band's 30th anniversary arrives in 2025),  Josh Todd's swaggering rock 'n' roll crew are in an excellent state of health. The departure of founder / guitarist Keith Nelson might have destabilized a lesser band, but as with 2021's "Hellbound", BUCKCHERRY's tenth album (the clue, as they say, is in the title) is more of the snake-hipped same: punked up and oddly soulful hard rock, with Todd's lithe snarl front and center and guitarist Stevie D (omnipresent since 2005) blazing away like a steroidal Johnny Thunders.

If you've ever shaken your stuff to "Lit Up" or "Crazy Bitch", it seems safe to recommend "Vol. 10" just as enthusiastically. BUCKCHERRY were always more than a source of great pole-dancing anthems, but the grittiness and funky intent that informed their biggest hits remains the beating heart of their sound today. "This And That" begins with a stripped-down stomp, before reeling away on a sinewy, AEROSMITH-like groove, with Todd selling every word with his customary, steely-eyed charisma. Weirdly timeless despite itself, it's loud and muscular and everything a fan of this band could possibly desire. And therein lies the key to "Vol. 10". BUCKCHERRY are masters of this stuff.

A refreshing, sub-40-minute blowout, "Vol. 10" keeps it simple and goes for the throat. "Good Time" lives up to its title, with a large dose of STONES-like swagger. "Keep On Fighting" is punk as fuck and hell-bent on destruction, with a particularly gnarly Todd vocal. "Turn It On" has more swing than Tarzan, and sounds like some long, lost global smash from the late '80s. "One And Only" is grubby street-metal with a floored accelerator; "Shine Your Light" showcases Todd's vocal skills with some bittersweet harmonies. Elsewhere, "Let's Get Wild" is an offer none of us can refuse, blasted out with AC/DC-like rock 'n' roll purity; while "With You" is a fierce, SABBATH-boogie carve-up, and the heaviest thing BUCKCHERRY have recorded in years. And yes, there are ballads, and really good ones at that. "Feels Like Love" is a sumptuous, radio-rock melodrama with AOR trimmings; "Pain" is as gorgeous as any song with that title dares to be, and once again highlights what a great and underrated singer Josh Todd is.

Just in case anyone is still unconvinced, BUCKCHERRY have had a whack at BRYAN ADAMS's "Summer Of '69" and done a great job. Aside from the fact that not liking "Summer Of '69" would be fucking weird, it's great to hear someone pull off a straightforward cover that rocks as hard as their own, self-written material. Ultimately, you can rely on BUCKCHERRY to rock the shit out of everybody in the place, even after all this time.

Author: Dom Lawson
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