Josh Todd and the Conflict - Year of the Tiger 01Hard rock not-quites Buckcherry were never really that important a band, releasing one popular song that was vulgar, catchy, and immensely irritating. I was surprised, then, when frontman Josh Todd formed Josh Todd and the Conflict (hereafter JTC) and released their debut record Year of the Tiger. Apart from some nostalgia for 2005 via their hit song, I never understood the world to be craving more Buckcherry music, less so clamoring for a solo project from their singer. When such a project emerges, normally it’s an outlet for two impulses: first, the want to put out music in a style that isn’t congruent with the artist’s main band; second, to put out mediocre B-sides and make a quick buck off whatever your name is worth. With this in mind, Year of the Tiger was a bit confusing to hear.

JTC stays comfortably in the realm of hard rock, being a touch more abrasive than Buckcherry in spots by way of incorporating a healthy dose of The Bronx to the proceedings. Granted, there’s nothing here that couldn’t be played on a local hard rock radio station that also plays 90s Metallica and the like, as this is basically the hard rock stylings of Buckcherry with some Foo Fighters and The Bronx thrown into a blender with Todd’s nasally Axl Rose meets M. Shadows vocal stylings over top. Radio rock to the core, Hellyeah could probably tour with this project.

This all sounds insulting, but for being comprised of simplistic radio and/or bar rock songs, Year of the Tiger does well enough for itself. The title track is basically Bronxcherry, meaning it’s aggressive, hooky, and short; it’s a burner through and through, and the taut rock riffing works well. “Inside” embraces the Motley Crue influences of Buckcherry noticeably more, but still successfully retains some Bronx aggression well enough to be a highlight. Todd’s unusual voice shines in “Rain” because it sounds earnest over the blues-rock licks that comprise the track, which see the whole band firing on all cylinders for a quality downtrodden stomper. “Atomic” is like RHCP if they weren’t the musical equivalent of a twelve-foot pile of flaming tires, meaning a quick blast of funky and catchy radio rock that’s best enjoyed loud.

Josh Todd and the Conflict - Year of the Tiger 02

The faults shine through in the lame Crue-cut ballad “Good Enough,” which is boring, poorly sequenced (right after the only other slower song here, the vastly superior “Rain”), and reeks of the worst habits of the 80s, namely the powerless power ballad and the flaccid riffs that accompany it. “Erotic City” is as poor as its title, and sounds like Hot Action Cop riffing on “Electric Avenue” for some reason heretofore unknown and likely best left undiscussed. Most irritating is “Story of My Life,” which has a great pre-chorus on all fronts but botches the chorus with some uninspiring radio rock riffing likely too tame for the Foo Fighters.

Ultimately, Year of the Tiger sounds like a series of songs that don’t quite fit the Buckcherry template, for better and for worse. It’s produced well, with a lively sound that gives each performer a spot in the mix where they can be heard. It nicely evokes a show at a bar packed with people having a good time, which enhances the highlights in a big way. Unfortunately, this also serves to exacerbate the weaknesses of the duds here, as putting everything up front shows the lacking aspects with clarity and immediacy. All of the above said, there’s more I enjoy on Year of the Tiger than I dislike overall, and some songs here are certainly great party fodder and simply fun to listen to. This doesn’t make JTC’s debut necessary listening, or even all that compelling for someone not already slightly interested in the prospect of hearing Buckcherry’s singer front a band that’s a lot like Buckcherry but different in some regards. Nonetheless, simple fun is sometimes a real treat, and when Year of the Tiger achieves that in the highlights mentioned above, they do an admirable job of it.


Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Century Media Records
Websites: facebook.com/joshtoddandtheconflict
Releases Worldwide: September 15th, 2017

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  • I’m the firestarter, twisted firestarter….

    • I’m back and ready to goooo…..Back and ready to goooo…..

    • Monsterth Goatom

      Interesting. They call me Mr. Fahrenheit.

    • False

      This is dangerous

    • sir_c

      Now you a re referring to some cult song, which the above is not.

  • lennymccall

    Hate Buckcherry, Love the Bronx…guess I’ll hit play and find out how this hits me.
    New Bronx tomorrow!!!!!

    • lennymccall

      I’m back, yeah this is a hard no.

  • Brutalist_Receptacle

    THEY GOT THEIR BACK-TO-SCHOOL AT KOHLS™

    • basenjibrian

      I am thinking more Ross Dress for Less.

      • Brutalist_Receptacle

        I DONT NEED YOUR HELP

  • Wilhelm

    I have a guitar and some light musical skills, I just need some neck tats, a fedora, and maybe a vest.

  • The Unicorn

    They (Buckcherry) had two “good” songs- and this shit sucks. This guy hasn’t changed his image in over a decade, and it wasn’t good then either. Nice review though!

  • The Akerstache

    Is this what a midlife crisis looks like?

  • Nukenado

    The only kinda-good thing to come out of the nu-metal/cock rock people is Wes Borland’s Crystal Machete in my opinion.

  • basenjibrian

    Thank Gawd I do not recognize a single one of the bands referenced in this review!
    It sounds awful.

    • Master of Muppets

      You don’t recognize Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters, Motley Crue or Metallica… Are you subterranean?

      • basenjibrian

        LOL. Mea Culpa! I was focusing on the more…obscure…names.

        • Master of Muppets

          And here I was thinking I might have finally discovered a whole new, Crue-less world.
          The search continues.

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            That would be a very fucking ugly world indeed.

          • Master of Muppets

            Ear of the beholder, yo. I would also erase Journey and The Cars from humanity’s soundtrack if I had such powers.

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            The Cars have never been part of my soundtrack, I could not even tell if I have actually ever listened to them. As for Journey, go listen to the song “Wheel in the Sky” and if after listening to it you still want to erase Journey from humanity’s soundtrack all I can tell you is… Don’t stop believing.

          • Master of Muppets

            I’ve listened to more Journey and Steve Perry in my life than anyone should have to. Trust me, I have heard more than enough to form and finalize my opinion. They are not for me.

  • Master of Muppets

    Pi of the tiger?

  • John Mosley

    I saw Buck Cherry and Crossfade once… Yep losing my metal cred.

    • Nukenado

      Losing? More like “crashing down to earth so fast that it makes DragonForce and Origin seem like minimalistic doom-drone.”

      • Nukenado

        But hey, you spelled their name wrong so you still have some left.

      • John Mosley

        I’d take Crossfade over DragonForce ha

        • Nukenado

          I’m a power metal apologist and a frequent masturbator, so DragonForce is right up my alley.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Cover art by Ed Hardy?

  • Norfair Legend

    Is this the dude in Spraygun War? I think that’s what they were called, they were awful for sure.

  • sir_c

    Next time when you shoot a video, do not put the tripod near the subwoofer please.

  • [not a Dr]

    The album cover looks like the Ameri-Do-Te emblem. Master Ken would only approve if they can master the kill-face. http://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1e1ee4cd4bd0cc77b90c6187a869c230bd90af4076f839673d74270b60410b35.png