Josh Todd & The Conflict - 'Year Of The Tiger'

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Josh Todd & The Conflict - 'Year Of The Tiger'

If you are a Buckcherry fan, there is no need to panic, the catchy riffs and Todd melodies and phrasing are all there.

Lots of musicians start side projects for a variety of reasons, often as not to explore their musical roots with like-minded musicians in that genre. I get the sense that Josh Todd & The Conflicts, one of whom is Buckcherry guitarist Stevie D (Steve Dacanay), recognise that Buckcherry fans expect a certain formula and, while not wanting to wreck a successful band, have branched out into Josh Todd & The Conflict to allow them to push their writing in different directions without disappointing Buckcherry fans. To be honest, irrespective of the reason, this a doozy of an album they've launched into the world.

'Year Of The Tiger' is a safe, albeit frenetic, opener with some funky chops and an overall heaviness that is fresh, and this is followed by the head-banging Rocker 'Inside'. 'Fucked Up' sounds like it will be standard Buckcherry fare, but this is the real departure with hard-driving bass rhythms and Rapping lulls in the style of mixed genre band Skindred all overlaid with a catchy melody; to my mind, this is one of the best songs on the album.

Now you've adjusted to the differences, things slow down for the heavy, Bluesy groove of 'Rain', the rhythm section providing a real power-driven foundation. 'Good Enough' is a ballad, it's okay, but heartfelt isn't really Todd's style. 'The Conflict' continues with light and shade of chanty lulls that are assaulted by super heavy riffs, while 'Story Of My Life' harks back to South California Punk. The cover of Prince's 'Erotic City' is Funk Rock with hints of Electropop, and 'Push It' is a bouncy Dance Rocker and closest to the Buckcherry oeuvre. The album plays out with the wonderfully hard-driving, get on down, Rap-like 'Atomic'.

If you are a Buckcherry fan, there is no need to panic, the catchy riffs and Todd melodies and phrasing are all there so you won't hate it. However, if Buckcherry wasn't quite your thing, maybe it's a bit too commercial, you are likely going to find this more to your taste. The accessible riffs have been given extra punch and the melodies are edgier. Stevie D's guitar solos go off-piste and have free rein, and the rhythm section of Gregg Cash (bass) and Sean Winchester (drums) give it fathoms of depth.

Helen Bradley Owers

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