Review Summary: When the cyborg slunks and their instruments override what Buckethead is really all about
Buckethead has evolved into one of, if not, my single most favorite musician. No amount of Jeff Loomis, Serj Tankian, or Tom Morello is ever going to make up for everything Buckethead has accomplished in his solo career, or any of the 50 albums he has been featured in. After 35+ albums, you’d think Buckethead would’ve found a formula to stick with. But on the other hand, if this were the case, the man would’ve long since overstayed his welcome. Buckethead is a man of diversity, who sets out to compete with himself to produce records that not only display his attitude at the time, but to make you feel the same way as well. If you’ve ever felt the effects of the “get-up-and-go-party” track King James
from Crime Slunk Scene
, or the “make-your-head-spin” track We Are Alone (Feat. Serj Tankian)
from Enter the Chicken
, or the soothing Padmasana
from Electric Tears
, then you understand the angle I’m coming at you from. No matter what album he puts out, he is sure to make you go along in the same mood as he is when he wrote these songs.
on the other hand, is another one of his albums that revolves predominantly around crazed effects, and bleeps and bloops, and other such things that are meant to do nothing more than get you up and going, yes, even more distortions than Kaleidoscalp
. When the album first starts off, it goes pretty solid. Buckethead is seen handing off solo after solo after solo for the first few tracks, until you get to the third track Transport Void
which makes quite a disgusting impression on Buckethead’s phenomenal guitar playing, by replacing his simplistic riffage with unnecessary distortions. This changes not in the track Alligator Eye Viewer
, which is certainly more beautiful sounding than the third track, but as the song progresses, you just get lost in it, and have pretty much no desire to move on, much unlike previous albums like Electric Sea
I swear to God, I can’t think of any other record other Venetian Snares’ Songs About My Cats
when I hear the track [b]Vast Mound[/i]. This track incorporates so many bizarre distortions and strange rhythm section, that it’s really hard to tell if this song is even supposed to include, or even mention anything about Buckethead’s signature guitar playing. Replacement Nail
is really no different, rambling on constantly with things we just don’t need. However, the track shows some signs of hope when the distortions stop for a second, and let Buckethead poke his head out of the trench he’s buried himself in, in this album. It doesn’t last long though once Shatter Shell
kicks in. This track is considerably better than most of the material on this album other than the first two tracks, and although it doesn’t contain much in the way of simplistic guitar playing, it something you can get revved up over.
This album moves in waves that are damn near impossible to decipher. Some tracks are 4-5 minutes in length, while the next might be just shy of a minute in length. Unfortunately, when it comes to production, and quality, some might find that the shortest tracks on this album are the best, and the longest, offer the least amount of excitement to fans who have long since awaited a new Buckethead album (because we all know it takes this man 17 years to write an album, he’s like Tool for God’s sakes). The album just doesn’t flow that well.
Overall, the album is a solid effort, and nothing too much to worry about considering we all know he’ll be releasing another one in a few months, that will probably be much better. But the experimental side of Buckethead has seen better days, and all in all, I don’t personally favor it that much. I like it better when Buckethead simply lets the guitar speak for him, rather than allowing complex rhythm sections and distortions and crazed drum machines take his place. It’s like an unskilled robot compiled this album into a jumbled up mess, that while it has its moments, they’re few and far between.