Buckethead
Old Toys


4.0
excellent

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
December 25th, 2015 | 57 replies


Release Date: 12/24/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The gift that keeps giving...

With 219* Pikes under his belt, all released within a 4-year span, Buckethead has drastically divided his fan base and pretty much shunned any accessibility into his colossal catalog. Unless you have an affinity for his trademark multifaceted sense (or lack) of melody, it will be very hard to start digging. Although there are a myriad LPs that showcase his musical prowess and really connect with you, there are just as many that can turn you off in a couple of minutes, making you question his sanity. This unorthodox pace he works at is definitely a gift and a curse, yet it can also be a way to cope with the recent loss of his parents (both celebrated in the Pike series).

Luckily for fans, he entered another rewarding phase after churning 32 Halloween inspired albums which relied mostly on sparse, horror sound scapes that most of the times felt run through an old radio playing in the other room. I guess they were successful given the context, yet were as listenable as fingernails scraping a chalkboard. Thankfully, the latest Pikes all feature some very inspired journeys, sometimes creating pristine ambient melodies (see Trace Candle or The Wishing Brook), plus the usual batch of groovy rockers (Crumple, Sunken Parlor). He even experimented with percussion and ethereal synths on Rooms of Illusions, providing something rather different from what we're accustomed to. Still, it's been a while since we last heard a lovely Pike to bring all these sides together into one awesome ride. Those following might have felt Buckethead was getting close to another peak.

Enter Old Toys, one of his most consistent albums this year. I can understand why the man chose to release it on Christmas Eve, mainly because it acts like a musical year recap (thank God he left aside the harrowing Halloween material or the ***ed up synth outings) and it might be his own way to thank those who keep up with his work. Starting strong, the title track is a powerful ditty that emphasizes both on the riffage and cool solos. What's nice is that it doesn't stray or exhaust you with a thousand notes per minute. Moving on to 'Zone Ahead' and 'Oak Island', two mid-tempo rockers with uplifting rhythms, they use several layers of lead guitars intertwining throughout. While he usually locks his tracks into a certain pattern, these cuts have a more dynamic structure, offering some nice variations and a live recording vibe. Even if very little background information is revealed regarding the recordings, you can usually tell the difference between the ones done on a computer and others tracked by real instruments. Nevertheless, they make for a nice transition to the emotional side of the album, provided by two of his best cuts in the past months: 'Mount Shasta' and 'Valley of the Fog'. The former brings to mind lush, summer vibes blended with heartwarming solos, whereas the latter clings to the ambient Pikes that somehow never fail. The faint, phaser-soaked chords and the nostalgic leads create an eerie setting that could easily transpose you into an empty city late at night or standing by some lake or sea at sunset. It's gorgeous how many moods can he transmit through music, so that you can imagine or relive different moments in only 30 minutes.

*There were 218 a few hours ago, but as I was finishing the review Buckethead dropped another one, so I guess this is already "old".




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user ratings (20)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
December 25th 2015


4343 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Let's forget about the fact that he drops 2 pikes per week and just listen to this one. One of the best this year. If interested, check out Tucked Into Dreams, I find it the best pike released in 2015. Very close to the gorgeous Monument Valley.



Stream Old Toys in its entirety here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iHyyv4bJNw

Digging: The Flying Eyes - Burning the Season

EvoHavok
December 25th 2015


7139 Comments


'*There were 218 a few hours ago, but as I was finishing the review Buckethead dropped another one, so I guess this is already "old".'
Epic.

Digging: Chelsea Wolfe - Hiss Spun

danielcardoso
Contributing Reviewer
December 25th 2015


11518 Comments


You beat me to it bud, great review. He's had many ups and downs throughout 2015, and while there was a lot of trash, some of the stuff he put out was impressive.

SharkTooth
December 25th 2015


13751 Comments


Is this one of his funky albums or one of his ambient ones?

manosg
Staff Reviewer
December 25th 2015


10452 Comments


One can remain on the feature area for as long as he wishes, provided that he reviews Buckethead's latest album.

Great stuff Raul.

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
December 25th 2015


15719 Comments


one in every 50 releases gets featured it seems lol

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
December 25th 2015


4343 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thank you!



@Shark - each track is different. starts out as a groovy rocker and ends with an ambient track.



@danielcardoso - every year I select about 10 pikes that are great and delete the others. the past 2 months have been quite solid though.



@manosg - I wonder how long can one keep reviewing alongside the manic release pace.

turnip90210
December 25th 2015


399 Comments


Well then. I picked up the Christmas pike and was very pleasantly surprised. Can you give me pointers to some good Pikes? I've been more less out of the loop since 25 or so.

SharkTooth
December 25th 2015


13751 Comments


Someone just posted a review for the next album!

turnip90210
December 25th 2015


399 Comments


That someone was me :P the next one in the series is free, so figured I'd toss up a review to get people to download it, as it does have some pretty cool stuff on there.

Tyler.
December 25th 2015


13198 Comments


Buckethead is lame

Froot
December 25th 2015


1910 Comments


"There were 218 a few hours ago, but as I was finishing the review Buckethead dropped another one, so I guess this is already "old"."

I literally cannot think of a better quote that could summarise Buckethead's career. Holy shit that's hilarious.

Great review as always raul

Flugmorph
December 25th 2015


17033 Comments


Buckethead is a monster

Digging: Perturbator - New Model

deathschool
December 25th 2015


21784 Comments


How many albums did he have this year?

BlacKapes
December 26th 2015


1832 Comments


about 119 too many

LordePots
December 26th 2015


37737 Comments


^^^he's not wrong

Digging: Dimlite - Runbox Weathers

deathschool
December 26th 2015


21784 Comments


I heard about 4 or 5 and enjoyed them all to varying extents.

danielcardoso
Contributing Reviewer
December 26th 2015


11518 Comments


Yeah, he had some great stuff coming for him. This may help you.
http://decino.nl/?p=pikesuggester

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
December 26th 2015


4343 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I saw this project, but I wasn't aware it's up to date (the display has been improved too). Cool

guitarded_chuck
December 26th 2015


13453 Comments


guy is talented but he can fuck off



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