As might be expected considering the word can be used in a variety of ways and can make up nearly every word in a still-coherent sentence, there’s a rich history of use of the f-bomb in music. While the word has sometimes been used to prove a point or make a hard-hitting statement (Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing in the Name” comes to mind), there’s also been a number of artists who have used arguably the ultimate in English-language profanity in a manner that was plain gratuitous or simply in bad taste. Though I suppose the point could be made that both artists were trying to make their own point, ‘90s rap artist Bo$$’s “I Don’t Give a Fuck” (with its chorus of “I don’t give a fuck / not a single fuck / not a single solitary fuck / ‘cause I don’t give a fuck / motherfucker”) and nu metal band Dope’s obnoxiously profane “Die Motherfucker Die” stand as two of the more memorably ridiculous usages of grating profanity found in popular music in my mind. That said, the bar may just have been raised by Buckcherry’s latest EP, released on the band’s own label, appropriately called F-Bomb Records.
For a band that’s been around for nearly twenty years, it’s somewhat astonishing to me that Buckcherry hasn’t seemed to accomplish a whole lot since their fairly well-received self-titled debut which dropped back in 1999 on DreamWorks Records. That album was most notable for “Lit Up,” about as hard-rocking and energized an ode to cocaine use as has been written, but after a disappointing follow-up album in 2001, the group disbanded for a few years. 2005 saw a reunited lineup land on a smaller label perhaps more suited for them, but though they’ve continually made the rock charts, the band has never been able to truly build on their early success. This leads us to 2014’s Fuck EP, an album that more or less establishes the band’s (bad?) attitude towards everyone and everything around them on its opening track “Somebody Fucked with Me.” Over loud and gnarly guitar-heavy rock music, lead singer Josh Todd proceeds to tell off just about everyone he knows - “fuck my parents, fuck my teachers, the founding fathers, fuck ‘em all.” This coming from a middle-aged rocker who one would think or should I say hope would have progressed in his thinking since middle school.
That’s maybe the most baffling thing about the Fuck EP: why would a group of grown men (let alone a band that should realize by now that early 2000’s angst of the Limp Bizkit variety doesn’t quite fly these days) feel the need to record an album that celebrates and revels in the use of the word “fuck?” This album seems tailor made for angry teens, yet one would have to imagine that Buckcherry’s core audience would probably (at best) be thirty-somethings by this point in time. The band can craft some decent old-school hard rock in a manner similar to what groups like Godsmack do, indicating that they have learned something over the past two decades, but this EP is not only creatively bankrupt in terms of its lyrics and entire concept but is mind-bogglingly dumb and not at all enjoyable.
The lack of honest creativity on the part of the musicians shines on the album’s second track, one that may have been the EP’s sole reason for existence. In what I would assume was an attempt to remain relevant in a modern music industry that has quite obviously all but passed them by, Buckcherry updates Icona Pop’s 2012 hit song “I Love It” with slightly modified lyrics so as to reflect the mindset of a group of possibly burned out ‘70s rockers. The resulting track “Say Fuck It” wears out its joke within the first thirty seconds (the same could be said for the whole of the album), then proceeds to go on for another insanity-inducing two and a half minutes. Though Todd has that perfectly sleazy quality to his voice that makes him an ideal hard rock singer (I’d go so far as to say that I almost expect a guy who sounds like this to throw profanity around with reckless abandon), the familiarity of subsequent tracks like “The Motherfucker” and “It’s a Fucking Disaster” point to the fact that the cover song was about all that Buckcherry had in them during this recording process. Fuck is a distressingly uninspired album, relying solely on tiresome shock value to create interest. Oh: we also get the almost obligatory song titled “I Don’t Give a Fuck” which again spells things out for the listener in case he couldn’t read through all the subtlety that existed earlier on the album and a thrashing finisher in “Fist Fuck” that features the lyrics “this is what you wanted...this is what you needed”...um... what? Like most of the material here, it’s rambunctious and rowdy but hopelessly dull.
Though it’s nowhere near as edgy as it thinks it is, as an album that very clearly raises a middle finger to the world as a whole, Fuck succeeds admirably: I’m not sure any individual or group could make a more rude or obviously distasteful album - or at least one that’s this alarmingly puerile (also check out the band’s ultra-classy twitter account). Looking for an album to sincerely tick off your parents while moping around in your room? Here’s your ticket. I think (hope?) the band was producing this album in a tongue-in-cheek manner, but even if it’s supposed to be taken as comical overkill, Fuck is done in by a complete lack of ideas. I really shudder to think that Buckcherry was once a respected music group at least on some level: if this is the honest best they can come up with these days, it’s really about time they called it a day.
2.0 / 10
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