Review Summary: Wait until it hits you. Then you will realize all your fighting is for nothing.
I can’t really explain what it’s like to be in an intensive emotional struggle with life. Movies dramatize it to death and novels satirically spin jokes off of it. The subjective thoughts and unrealistic pensions a person goes through are still shrouded in a heavy mist to me, but I still can proclaim that it isn’t a cozy feeling. Being part of the average population in a world ran by big business tycoons and slapdash celebrities, all that’s good in the world seems to slowly slip into oblivion before my very eyes. Sure there is a loving family back at home, but the harsh realization that life is not as glamorous as it is on TV hits harder than you might think. Bloody streaks of misery and poverty are littered among the absent minded parties hosted by wealthy drones. The popular industry covers the real world with a blanket that blinds children into thinking that silver and gold are really the only two things that make people happy. Buckethead however shines a light on the dirty spectrum and shows what he sees through his guitar.
There is often a misconception that Buckethead plays with full emphasis on speed and rhythm instead of poignancy and thought. Though this thought process can be glued to some of his feeble works, what’s listed on Crime Slunk Scene is far from weak. The man exerts all of his mind and body onto his guitar and is able to string together seas of emotion and beauty. The essence of Buckethead’s quirky nature is still there, but is mostly hidden among the many breathtaking instrumentals to behold. Buckethead’s emotional consistency is often riddled with layers, either epic or dramatic. The Fairy and the Devil sounds like a battle between good or evil, while the closing riff of King James implants a rhythmic rebellion in the listener. The layers of subject material don’t stop there, as they spiral off of each other; making it a fun experience to guess what kind of thoughts may be tackled next. It is almost like the popular culture surrounding us. But instead of brainwashing people into believing in luxury and fame; it distracts the listener to indulge in Buckethead’s side of the story. He sprinkles a strong crux of his being into his music, showing that he is a human being with emotional skirmishes like the many of us.
A looming sense of defeat is evident on the album as well. The fairy loses its incredible battle with the devil and the revolution is suppressed by the higher officials. The rea l heavy hitter however is the ten minute long beast known as Soothsayer. It’s the most haunting depiction of Buckethead’s feelings ever put into his music. Through the schizophrenic mix of passionate movements, the listener is showered with happy and sad memories. Fluttering by like butterflies, the guitar riffs each syncopate to a different memory of his past life. It’s like a musical autobiography, only using an instrument instead of a voice. The song shows the beauty of what it was like in the past, followed by the disastrous effects the present and future can hold.
The clear aroma of poignant feelings swirls around Crime Slunk Scene like flies to lights. Buckethead weaves his tale of comparing the past and present with perplexing accuracy. Even though the prominent use of the whammy and kill switch hinder the album a little as guitar lines seem mirrored on some songs, the album does away with linear style and opts for a more experimental outing. For me, this is the album which drew me into Buckethead's whirlpool of interest. The catchy rhythms, emotionally driveled guitar playing, and great production make this an excellent addition to the guitar virtuoso’s massive discography.