Buckethead is an experimental guitarist that has an extremely eclectic and unique discography. He has been in many bands such as Praxis and GNR. Last time we heard from Buckethead, he released his album Somewhere Over The Slaughterhouse
. It was a decent experimental album with a lot of neat ideas and electronic elements. Buckethead follows up Somewhere Over The Slaughterhouse
with Funnel Weaver
to satisfy his eager fans.
is yet another very noticeable change in sound and style for Buckethead. It is essentially a structural opposite of Day Of The Robot
. Instead of being comprised of a few longer songs, Funnel Weaver
is made up 49 songs, almost all of which are under 2 minutes. However, this album shares a lot of Day Of The Robot
’s electronic elements. The difference between the two albums is that Funnel Weaver
is more guitar-based than his previous outing. While Funnel Weaver
has many musical elements and ideas with great potential, this album flows very erratically, the production has declined a significant amount, and the album is too long to not endlessly drag. Also, the songs seem to blend together eventually due to their similar structures.
Buckethead certainly had the potential and the ideas to make this a much better album. It is proven with interesting ideas such as the heavy guitar riff in “Unsound Methods”, or the eerie motif and the fitting electronics in “Hall Of Records”. Also, “The Kingdom Of Nie” is a well written song with some of my favourite guitar parts on the record. “Who Is The Enemy”, the shortest song on the record has very fast paced guitar parts which keep the track interesting in its 36 second duration. “Caretaker of Memory” kicks off with a pretty swell shuffling drum beat. “Killing Mask”, one of the longer songs on the record (approximately 2:47 in length), is one of the best tracks on the record with interesting drum moments and some neat ideas. However, interesting experiments and sounds can only take a record so far. My gripes with this album are quite extensive.
The production on this album is pretty subpar if there even is any effort put into the sound quality. The guitar chugs sound way too muffled as if the low end has been cranked. The production makes tracks like “Blue Crystal”, “R.I.P.”, “The Worm Turns”, and “Freezer Burns” a chore to get through. “Stolen Identities” is a bombastic mess of tinny drumming that is painful to listen to. The amount of silence that isn’t cut off at the end of tracks doesn’t really help much. Also, “F-4 Phantom” has extremely fuzzy sounding drums which make an already mediocre track even worse. Lastly, the high pitched sounds in “The Other Side Of Midnight” are very grating and give me a headache.
The way the tracks on Funnel Weaver
have been constructed make the album sound less like sincere songs and more like table scraps with Buckethead’s structural methods. For starters, a lot of these pieces kick off with similar sounding drum beats. “Kurtz Temple”, “Covert”, “Death Card”, “R.I.P.”, “Eye In The Sky”, “Freezer Burns”, “Sky Drones”, “Operation Gateway”, “Bantam Rising”, “Channel Of Secrets”, “The Worm Turns”, “Silhouettes Against The Sky”, “Sleeper Agents”, “Recreational Cyronics”, “The Blind Sniper (Fred Rogers)”, “Atlantis Found”, “The Spider’s Web”, “Blue Crystal”, “Reaping The Whirlwind”, “Sea The Hollow Man”, “Unsound Methods”, “Aluminum Clouds”, “Rattlesnake Hill”, “F-4 Phantom”, “Stub Pythons”, “Armor Piercing Projectiles”, “The Shriek Of Revenge”, “The Kingdom Of Nie”, “Kangaroo Kranes”, “High Seat With The Devil”, “Jessy”, and “Nappler Radar” ALL start with samey drum lines. That is 32 of the 49 tracks folks (over 65%). If I counted the 6 songs in my tally that had unique sounding drum intros, we’d be at 38 out of 49 tracks (over 77%) that begin with a drum part. Additionally, it’s almost as if Buckethead decided to have 49 short songs as an excuse to use boring ideas that are too short to become stale. The sad thing is that the songs themselves are hit or miss. Some of the previously mentioned songs are enjoyable short tracks, but songs like “R.I.P.”, “Sky Drones”, and others are just boring sludge metal outings.
On paper, Funnel Weaver
is a pretty cool idea. However, it is apparent Buckethead can’t write 49 short pieces without littering it with filler. This album had amazing potential to be a quality album, but the bad production, the tedium, and the non-conventional methods deter this album’s worth. The songs are usually less than 2 minutes but they feel like they are full length songs due to the repetitive themes. I would recommend purchasing any of Buckethead’s previous records before getting Funnel Weaver
. Unless your only other option is KFC Skin Piles
. In that case, look into another artist.
OVERAL RATING: 2.5/5