Joshua Todd is all lit up again. And it’s about time. After a couple of forgettable albums — and a subsequent band overhaul that probably wasn’t coincidental — the tattooed Buckcherry founder, frontman and majordomo is spoiling for a fight again on his band’s eighth studio album. Not surprisingly, he comes out swinging on the AC/DC-style opening title cut, bellowing “I’m like a SHOTGUN!” so explosively it’s amazing he doesn’t hork up an entire lung right there and then. It isn’t the only track that gives his leather-lined pipes a decent workout — and matches his seething intensity with big honkin’ slabs of hard-grinding Sunset Strip sleaze-rock (along with one weird cow-punk two-stepper and a surprisingly impressive version of Nine Inch Nails’ Head Like a Hole). There are still a few too many pseudo-ballads (including the hopefully titled Radio Song) for my taste, but at least this time the rockers are strong enough to defend themselves.
STANDOUTS: Warpaint, Bent, Head Like a Hole.