Buckcherry man with a solo tiger feat
Anyone under the age of 30 won’t remember this, but grunge was supposed to kill rock n roll – if you believed the magazines of the day.
And yeah, there was some good music that came out after Kurt loaded up his guns and brought his friends and before the whole “movement” ate itself in the way these always do, but mostly, it took just a few years before good time rock n roll was back in the firing line strutting its stuff.
As if to prove this, at the arse end of the 90s in fact MV went to see Kiss. The opening act was named after a drag queen and they had a song that merrily explained that they “loved the cocaine”. Their album was pretty good too, it had a song on it called “Lawless and Lulu” which was and still is a favourite. Their mega hit came later, and was one for all the Crazy Bitches everywhere, but now there’s been line up changes and the band haven’t released a record in a long time.
Step forward then Josh Todd and The Conflict, the band the lead singer has formed to fill the void for a while. Writing the songs with BC’s Stevie D, and having it Co-Produced by Eric Kretz of Stone Temple Pilots has given Todd the chance to, in his own words, write something: “heavy, melodic and honest, with a lot of risk taking.” All of which to a point is true, but it still sounds exactly like you’d expect the singer out of Buckcherry’s solo record to sound.
This is not some Rob Zombie album that sounds so much like White Zombie that you wonder what the point was, but “Year Of The Tiger” goes into areas that you kind of always knew Todd would go. It’s a little more urban, a little more street, perhaps, but you always thought he was those things anyway.
Take the first single, “Rain” it has a line in that offers that: “I’m a low down, foul-mouthed son of a bitch and trouble is my only friend….” And that’s the big arena filling ballad.
The rest of “….Tiger” lives up to those words. Kicking in with the title track, it bustles with an urgency and will sound brilliant live – this surely was always Todd’s natural habitat. “Inside” has an arena filling intent, and that’s the point. Whatever Todd tries to achieve – and “Fucked Up” is a prime example of the confessional side to this and the rhythms are a long way from Cherry – he has a natural ability to write big, bold and brash rock n roll.
On the gentle country influenced “Good Enough” he hits the nail on the head. “Maybe I am better off saying what I want to say,” feels like a key line, and there is a sense of both of confusion and confidence about “The Conflict”. It’s middle section is a beat down of the sort Anthrax managed when they teamed up with Public Enemy.
Best of all, perhaps, is the slice of radio rock that is “Story Of My Life” with that unmistakable Todd vocal style putting itself over some genuine melody and the funky “Erotic City” is better than it’s title might suggest it is.
Elsewhere it makes good on the promise to be heavy, “Push It” melds that with a catchy hook, and the chance taking is largely covered by the outright dance floor filler of “Atomic” – and a full album in this style wouldn’t have been a bad thing at all.
As it is “Year Of The Tiger” is a solid record. One that Josh Todd had to make to fill his creative need, and this Conflict will do until full battle is resumed with his other band.