SAN FRANCISCO With skull-rattling bass, fat guitar riffs and middle fingers held high, hard-rockers Buckcherry showed off their sleeve tattoos and a handful of new tunes at Slim's on Wednesday.
Buckcherry, known for their hit "Lit Up," are on a short tour of California, road testing new material that will appear on their second album.
"You can f--- to it, and you can party to it, and that's it," frontman Joshua Todd said of the album after the show. "We wanna bring back the beer bong on this record."
Todd said the new LP, which has already been recorded, will include such tunes as "Front Side Rider," "Porno Star," "Helpless," "You" and "Time Bomb." The album was produced by John Travis (Kid Rock, Sugar Ray) and is being mixed for a tentative March 20 release.
The band's raucous blend of punk, glam rock, and '70s and '80s metal could be heard echoing down the block from the small club. Taking cues from Steven Tyler and Mick Jagger, Todd strutted
and paced like a skinny boxer, screaming over the dark, descending chord progression of "Alone," which the band recorded for the "Mission: Impossible 2" soundtrack.
With a Les Paul tone reminiscent of Slash's, Buckcherry's Yogi pulled riffs between Todd's vocal lines on the new tune "Whiskey in the Morning." Drummer DeVon Glenn provided a driving beat while Yogi and second guitarist Keith Nelson alternated lead lines and melodic chords.
"We're playing a lot of new sh-- tonight," Todd told the crowd of around 300 fans. "If you don't like it, f--- you."
But the new tunes, full of rhythmic chunk and obscene guitar riffs, seemed to keep the crowd happy. The guitarists' squealing leads on "Front Side Rider" recalled AC/DC and Guns N' Roses, adding a bit of Van Halen-flavored reverberation over Glenn and Jonathan "J.B." Brightman's pounding rhythm. "We're goin' riding/ We're gonna ride away," Todd sang.
Another new tune, "Underneath," opened with a two-man
guitar pull. "I'll never leave you underneath/ I always want your company/ I need your love," Todd and Nelson sang together on the song's chorus.
The rhythm section kept chugging through the fast and punky crunch of "Dead Again," from the band's self-titled 1999 debut. "Porno Star" was big riff rock with a heavy groove. "Don't you know I f--- for money?" Todd sang.
Buckcherry stuck to their first album for the rest of the night. The rhythm section locked in on the slower "For the Movies," then Nelson and Yogi converged midstage to twist out a quick, lead-guitar duet. Yogi communed with Glenn to build the more subtle, staccato-based hook of "Get Back."
Fists pumped on "Lit Up," the group's hard-partying anthem that earned a 1999 Grammy nomination. "Do you love the cocaine? What will you do for the cocaine?" Todd teased during the tune's intro.
"The show was great," fan Alan Ralph, 27, of San Francisco said. "The new stuff sounded real good. ... It sounded
in line with the rest of the songs that they had on the first record."
Buckcherry tour dates:
- 11/10 - San Jose, CA @ Cactus Club
- 11/11 - Santa Cruz, CA @ Catalyst
- 11/12 - Sacramento, CA @ Bojangles
- 12/12 - Los Angeles, CA @ Whiskey a Go-Go