Buckcherry – Time Bomb
2001, Dreamworks Records
Buy the album
- Time Bomb
- Porno Star
- Place in the Sun
- (Segue) Helpless
- Slit My Wrists
- Whiskey in the Morning
- Open My Eyes
Josh Todd – Vocals
Keith Nelson – Guitar
Yogi Lonich – Guitar
Jonathan “J.B.” Brightman – Bass
Devon Glenn – Drums
After getting back into a Buckcherry mood with the release of 2019’s Warpaint, I went back into the band’s catalog and have been giving multiple spins to the one Buckcherry album that I’m not familiar with– Time Bomb. Upon its initial release, I remember seeing the music video for “Ridin'” on VH1’s short-lived Rock Show series. I’ve always thought it was a decent song, but in those pre-streaming days, I didn’t get a chance to hear anything else off the album and the reviews that I found online were not kind to Time Bomb. I simply shrugged my shoulders at the time and moved on, not bothering to track down the album. Despite the small buzz the band generated with their self-titled debut album, it seemed like the band was a time bomb itself as they fizzled out commercially and critically with their sophomore effort. By the summer of 2002, bassist Jonathan Brightman, rhythm guitarist Yogi Lonich and drummer Devon Glenn left the band over creative differences with singer Josh Todd and lead guitarist Kevin Nelson and the group was put on hold (years later, Nelson himself would leave the band after his own creative differences with Josh Todd).
Of course, we know that isn’t the end of Buckcherry. Josh Todd & Keith Nelson rallied back a few years later, found new band-mates and released the best-selling album of their career along with their two biggest singles, but let’s stay focused on Time Bomb!
Honestly, I’m surprised this album wasn’t more successful. “Ridin'” is classic Buckcherry, and just as good as “Lit Up” for a single (in fact, I think it’s better and it’s grown on me a lot over the years”, and the rest of the album features better songwriting than the band’s debut. Time Bomb is really the template for what would later come with 15, Black Butterfly, All Night Long, etc.
I think the band’s self-titled debut stands out as being slightly different sounding from the rest of the band’s catalog. That 1999 release holds a lot of nostalgic value for me, but something was slightly “off” about it for me, even if I loved the spirit in which the album was made. It was very good, but not as good as I wanted it to be. Still, it was very refreshing in an era of nu-metal (a genre which I couldn’t, and still can’t, stand). The formula wasn’t quite there yet for that release, but with Time Bomb, Todd & Nelson seem to have found their groove as the band’s primary songwriters. Had I actually bought Time Bomb at the time of its release, I think I would’ve been a huge fan of it from the get-go.
Sure, the album is a bit crass with tracks like “Porno Star” (“Take off your clothes and shut the door/Pornographic monster on the floor/That’s what you like, I’ll cum some more/Don’t you know we fuck for money/I’m a big-dick-motherfuckin’ porno star”), “Time Bomb” (“It’s coming for you/It’s coming for me/Life ain’t nothin’ but bitches and money”) and a song titled “Slit My Wrist”, but the band would later release an EP called Fuck featuring songs with the word ‘fuck’ in the title, so class isn’t exactly something they ever did, or will, shoot for.
Time Bomb excels in the catchy riffing and chorus departments. I’ve been lucky enough to see Buckcherry perform three times and I can imagine them playing a few of these energetic tracks in a live setting and them going over well. On the flip side, the ballads are pretty great here, too. “You” stands up to the rest of the band’s tender moments and “Open My Eyes” is a surprisingly sentimental “hidden” final track on the album that features nothing but piano and Josh Todd’s vocals. Overall, I think “Ridin'” and “(Segue) Helpless” (which features what I think is a banjo intro and later a steel guitar) are my favorite tracks.
Anyone who doesn’t like Buckcherry isn’t going to like Time Bomb, but it’s certainly worth checking out if you’re a fan of the band and if you missed out on the album the first time around (like I did). It’s an album worth (re)discovering.