Review Summary: Nothing in particular.
Brian Carroll’s post-2010 output, apart from Electric Sea
(the heartfelt sequel to Electric Tears
), is comprised entirely of albums from his massive Pikes
series. Out of the Attic
is the third Pike released in 2016, and the 222nd (!) entry overall. Following the standard most of the other Pikes adhere to, Out of the Attic
solely features Buckethead accompanied by programmed percussion. It is also a concise affair, clocking in at just under 30 minutes. This particular record is a display of his guitar-centric alternative metal. Sonically, it’s very reminiscent of Cuckoo Clocks of Hell
and Albino Slug
, two earlier releases from Carroll.
For people that attempt (and fail) to keep up with his new music, it is widely understood that his ability to write decent riffs at this rate is inhuman. There’s a fair number of positive aspects about this album. It’s been a long time since the drums have come close to sounding organic. The snare drum is brighter and more dynamic, giving off a vibe that someone is behind the kit. For newer listeners, the guitar playing is also very impressive. From the blistering shred on “Out of the Attic” and “Dank Dungeon”, to the dissonant tapping sections on “Perilous Garden”, there are quite a few leads for the listener to digest.
This all sounds great, but with the rate at which these albums are being released, it’s safe to say that Out of the Attic
will only be listened to by hardcore Buckethead fans. Unfortunately, for people that have heard even a small fraction of his output, there isn’t really anything exciting here. While the title track has brief flashes of quality nu-metal riffing, it just plods on and devolves into one of his worse 10+ minute jam tracks, even containing a section that sounds lifted from “Soothsayer”. Anything else interesting that occurs, like the cool hammer-on/pull-off riff in “Dank Dungeon”, or the fun killswitch play on “Giant Jellyfish”, are performed in an incredibly disjoined manner or overrun by recycled metal riffs (see: “Gloom”).
It’s hard to recommend Out of the Attic
. While it has redeeming qualities, he’s cooked up better batches of songs in this vein many times before. The Cuckoo Clocks of Hell
, and even Albino Slug
all have more thought put into them. Structurally, almost all the tracks are constructed very haphazardly. This Pike makes any long-time listener long for another collaboration with Brain or Travis Dickerson, which have produced great albums like Population Override
, Bucketheadland 2
, and Dragons of Eden
. The potential found in most of the Pikes hints at consistency. Even if he condensed his yearly output to his pre-2011 levels, which was still quite prolific, there would be a massive upshift in quality.