Review Summary: Buckethead's Colma is an acoustic change from previous efforts, dropping his metal curtain to let his light side shine, but it is still up to par with his skill as a guitarist and songwriter.
A Buckethead Production
Buckethead, the guitar-wielding towering figure raised by chickens that dons a Meyers-ish mask, a KFC bucket with the word “FUNERAL” taped to the front, and a yellow jumpsuit, known for his incredible shredibility and the tendency to whip out nunchuks and do the robot during a performance, unleashed in 1998 his wrath of…. acoustic jazz
? Yes, my friends. Colma
is almost entirely acoustic. Oh I’m pretty sure he could melt our faces off unplugged, but this album is very mellow and relaxing.
One of the things that make Buckethead a truly unique guitarist is his outstanding versatility. He’s known, of course, for his metal fretboard-traveling as seen on some of his later albums (Cuckoo Clocks of Hell, Enter the Chicken)
, his almost Floyd-esque style (Population Override)
, and here we have some great, soothing acoustic work.
Enough with raving about the chicken man’s talent, now on to the album. This album was intended for relaxing music that Buckethead’s (Brian Carol I think) mother who was ill in the hospital while she recovered. With the exception of the title track, I would say this fits the bill. That’s not to say that the album doesn’t have its share of guitar mastery. In fact, Colma
is about an hour of acoustic experimentation. The short track titled Big Sur Moon
is two minutes of waves of delayed, fast-picked acoustic. The very eerie Colma
is extremely delayed guitar that almost sounds like an organ… along with sounds like those of someone taking a knife and scraping it sideways across a sheet of aluminum. Not one of the prettier tracks...
Buckethead throws in a few interesting elements into his music here. For example, on the tracks Machete, Hills of Eternity, and Lone Sal Bug
, Buckethead casts DJ Disc to throw in some trip-hop beats and turntables. The first of that list is a major highlight. It begins with some trip-hop beats and eerie, spacey guitar echoing overhead, and it eventually builds up into a nice electric guitar solo at the end.
Most of the songs sound the same, but they are all equally enjoyable (except maybe for Colma
). It’s a great album to chill out to, and the music wouldn’t be out of place in a coffee shop. Despite retaining a consistent sound, the album is chock full of memorable, beautiful moments, such as the solo in For Mom
, or the closing strums of Watching The Boats With My Dad
. There are many interesting additions that keep the listener from becoming bored, like the atmospheric cello and viola on Wondering
and Lone Sal Bug.
If anyone can master any style of virtuosic guitar playing, it is definitely Buckethead. Fans of his other efforts may dislike Colma
, but for any fan of soothing acoustic or psychedelic rock, this is a must have. And for those of you who refuse to listen to this genius simply because of his stage antics, and I know many who do, I entreat you to take a listen. Who knows? Maybe you might actually be able to judge his music by the content rather than from his costume.
Buckethead – Guitar, Bass
Brain (of Primus) – Drums
DJ Disc – Turntables
Bill Laswell – Bass on Machete
Terry Untalan – Viola and Cello on Wondering and Lone Sal Bug
Recommended Tracks – For Mom, Big Sur Moon, Machete, Wishing Well, Watching The Boats With My Dad