Review Summary: Somebody rescue them.
Buckcherry have had a mixed bag of a career; they've proven that they're capable of making something that's good as some mindless fun party album, and then Josh Todd's vocals show up to take a dump all over the hard work of the poor instrumentalists that he's taken under his wing. So where does Warpaint
stand in the bag❓ Well...sh*t.
The instrumentalists are, for the most part, not the problem here; when they're not stealing riffs (more on that later) they're doing everything in their power to at least make the album bearable, and they actually create some decent—even catchy—backing tracks. The primary issue with Warpaint
is good ol' Josh Todd; he's gotten completely desperate to hit notes way out of his range to complement the rip-off "glam metal had a baby with Led Zeppelin" sound they're attempting to pull off, and it sounds like he's being penetrated by a Satanic anthropomorphic orca. Also, they decided that in "Bent" that bitcrushing his vocals
was a brilliant idea, creating the most abysmal vocal performance in the history of middle of the road radio rock. And the problem with the instrumentalists, on the other hand, is their plagarism of riffs—the intro riff in "The Alarm", for instance, is the exact same
as that of Beware of Darkness' "Howl". Although Buckcherry obviously isn't known for original ideas, they've been around since 1995
, so if they've really run out of riffs with the current guy they should have just replaced their guitarist with a more creative one, or at the very least just rehashed "Crazy B*tch" 13 times and called it a new album. As for the bass and drums, its basically what you expect from a Buckcherry release.
As for the production, it tends to be focused most of the time, before starting random experiments such as the aforementioned bitcrushing out of nowhere. The band seems to want to expand, but they've been sitting in their comfort zone for so long that they're utterly terrified of expanding their boundaries, which is one of the many reasons why post-grunge died the painful death it did. Much like their brethren, Buckcherry refuse to evolve other than the most basic of experiments, and when the experiments begin it's comparable to B.F. Skinner trying to figure out what would happen if we locked three humans in a box with nothing but dog food for three days while electrocuting the poor chap who refused to do the experiment, which drags the album down even further than it would be had they made a legitimate effort to do so.
In closing, with the instrumentalists trying to save the album while Todd—and to some extent, the producer—beat it to death with Peter Griffin's morbidly obese body, Warpaint
is a failure on nearly every level. While it does have some alright instrumentals that would probably work on literally any other generic rock record, the vocals, the production and the plagarism cause this war to end before it even starts, with the clear victory going to the mercy that befalls you when the album finally ends. Avoid at all costs.