Falling somewhere between a slightly less agitated, punk-fed version of early Aerosmith and a worn-out comic book copy of Mötley Crüe, Buckcherry continues to stake a claim to its supposed rock and roll lineage on its second release, Time Bomb
. Josh Todd fronts this eternally touring gutter-rock combo with an undying hypersexualized energy that purportedly translates to epic performances. Yet the approach would seem entirely contrived on the band's recorded work, if he weren't backing up his clich´-soaked songs with a fairly convincing Brian Johnson-via-Steven Tyler growl and a band that buzzes and burns a familiar but well-discharged guitar racket. Unfortunately, Time Bomb
's title tune pretty much sums up Buckcherry's sometimes limited lyrical range ("Life ain't nothin' but bitches and money"). The overriding rock aphorisms in songs such as "Porno Star" and "Whiskey in the Morning" leave any serious potential the band has buried under the weight of some nearly comical fare. All of which is unfortunate, considering the sturdy talent that fuels the center of the disc on cuts like "Place in the Sun" and the Guns 'n Roses-rivaling "Helpless." In these moments, when a restrained Todd avoids rock-star posturing, Buckcherry can be as good as any working rock band.