Review Summary: Yes, it’s another Buckethead album. Worth your time? Mostly no.
It seems that with every new release, Buckethead shows both another side of his playing style, and another area to get bored by. It’s hard to fault him since everything he releases is more or less under his own jurisdiction; he records, writes, often programs, his material to be released. If you love Buckethead, this year alone you have three new records to choose from, all of which have been under limited release through TDRS records. On the other hand, this is an album that won’t get the attention of many, which is of no surprise in itself.
Firstly, and yes answering the common question, “any vocals?” No, none, zilch, but why would by this time you even come to expect vocals on a Buckethead album? For those who do manage to obtain this obscurity, expect to receive what you’ve loved for nearly 20 years (shred soloing, random interludes and quirky electric experimentations, and tinny programmed drums), but also expect it to cloud over what you may already own. Despite having an apparent magnitude of greatness within opening tracks “The Redeem Team”
and “Siege Engine”
the rest of the album can be found of previous releases without even looking twice. Not to say he’s just re-released the same record twice, but as we know, he can certainly come close.
Undoubtedly this is no commercial recording, the production tells for it, but in turn it seems rushed, with little room for matchless hooks and licks that he’s been renowned for. For instance he nearly approaches covering Led Zeppelin
’s “Immigrant Song”
in "Symmetrical Slug"
- a twisted concoction of shredding and buzzing riffage. Similarly in “Electric Bell Blanket”
, he makes a lacklustre attempt at blues twang, without elaborating towards anything at all in its short 50 seconds, something he revisits in many other tracks.
It’s hard to say whether this is one of Buckethead’s more serious releases. But if it is, it seems to suffer from having a similar appearance as some of his more jocular outings, which are usually more enjoyable anyway. The argument of “he’s running out of ideas” has no meaning here, since the have been previous albums which have had a similar effect as this one. The problem is that the song writing is as memorable as the album cover is: not much at all. With a weighted beginning and an airy body and later half, Albino Slug
is as tedious as watching one travel.