Discussion in 'Music Discussion' started by CriedWhenBrucieLeft, Aug 20, 2015.
You deserve a medal.
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Yeh, have to agree. Hexagon starts off with this really cool sinister riff & you think if the song builds on this then this is going to be pretty good. But three minutes in & it turns into a different kind of tune; or rather a tune we've heard many times before. The soloing starts & it's quite upbeat; the mood from earlier has been lost. It's pretty much melodic soloing from here to the finish. There's nothing that really grabs you here & in the end the track feels like a bit of a let-down. Also far too long with little development going on. Decent, but didn't build on its early promise (4*). Rooftop, again, starts off very promising; very broody. The sparse early soloing works quite well here; nice subdued drumming too; and some elements of this work quite well. Ten minutes in & the pace picks up, which at least stops the track really dragging. Decent (4*) & probably the better of the two tracks. Overall a pretty disappointing Pike though. I'm tempted to rate both of them perhaps lower but in isolation they're decent if too long.
Fastpass is glorious; moody, with some sweet, sweet soloing. Another of Buckethead's mesmerising tracks (5*). Drift starts with an instantly catchy melodic riff; reminds me of some of his early career rockier stuff. The lead work really sings to you. The soloing is measured & well-worked; maintaining the feel & structure of the earlier part of the song. I love that change at ~5:30. What a track! (5*). Tentaclon is totally different. Big majestic opening riff. Really slow & brooding. This went straight into my "Gloom" playlist. This is how simple he should have kept the early promise of the two tracks on the previous Pike, Rooftop. Love the feel & mood of this one (5*). Streamlet is, again, totally different. Doesn't even have the same tone as anything previously. Not quite The Cellar Yawns heavy (Pike #154), but this is bang slap in the Buckethead heavy-melodic category. Actually, some really fine melodic riffing going on in this one. The soloing that kicks in at ~3:20 is fucking fantastic; amazing feel really following that chugging rhythm guitar. Awesome track (5*). Stunning Pike overall with, as you say, great variety.
What to make of a track like Lightboard? It's too long, that's for sure. It's got some of that munchy guitar tone again, some de-tuned stuff going on, some buzz/noise stuff too. Early on, it's all over the place really. I can totally listen to stuff like this (good in the car) but there's basically about ten song ideas in here; and as you say, nothing much, in a memorable sense, to make you want to return to this. For me, the soloing that kicks in around the seven minute mark is really the only thing keeping this track faintly interesting. It's just too long & messy (3*). Second track, Tales, has a groovy wee beginning but threatens to descend into mindless tap-shredding pretty early. The little fills & interludes and the bouncy rhythm & bass work keep this reasonably interesting though. Strange mid-late change, sort of turns into a totally different track for the last two minutes. Decent (4*). Deep Within The Sea starts off all discordy with some low fretwork shredding stuff. The pace of this kind of keeps it going too. Lots of slap stuff too, which I find cool. Like the opening track this is all over the place. I don't mind this kind of thing over four minutes (4*). Overall, lots of ideas kicking around on this Pike. There's nothing awful here, it's just another of those "why did he need to release this?" Pikes.
Got to agree. Just like Rooftops I'm quite undecided at how to rate these tracks in isolation. Overall, like Rooftops, this Pike is just so unmemorable. I look at those two long tracks (a format that was repeated around this time a little too often for me) and think what was this again? 22222222 is chugging along here & it's okay; there's quite a lot of solid melodic riff work going on. Don't know if it's the production or what (just the Pikes at the stage maybe?); just something really uninspired (as you say) feeling. Unlike you, I kind of think his soloing rescues some of these tracks though; five minutes in on this one. Again, the length is a real problem on both of these tracks. Still, I find 22222222 decent enough (4*). The main munchy riff of 11111111 is fine, but that soloing + bass thing going on is kind of odd. Maybe okay for a few fills but not enough to build a long track on (3*). Crap Pike overall.
Unlike you I was feeling quite worn out by the two long-track format by this stage of my listening. I like lots of elements of both of these tracks, but there's something off-putting about this format. Anyway, Nail in the Clock is good. Like the gloomy feel to it. As you say, some quite interesting things going on here. Not quite up there with other gloom tracks, but it made the "Gloom" playlist (4*). Coupon I like. I want to really like it, but it's maybe a bit meandering late on. I think I would like it more if it were slightly shorter. Basically anything where Buckethead combines synth & guitar is quality and the atmosphere & mood on this doesn't disappoint. Btw, he played a cut down version of this live as an opener to the tour that immediately followed this release. Nice track (5*).
Yeh, maybe the production/tone of this one isn't to everyone's taste, but it doesn't really affect the fact that the songwriting is quality. Another one of these effortless, flowing Pikes where everything just seems totally perfect in terms of pacing, note-choice, etc. Just flat-out a great piece of music from start to finish (all track 5*).
Yip, the production is kind of odd. I quite like it; kind of crunchy & muffily at the same time. Musically, this is one of these ones that is all over the place but is actually really enjoyable to listen to. Effective combination of riffing & quiet dark passages. Drumming is also really good. I also appear to have listened to this Pike an incredible amount of times for one so recent. Corridor 2 (I've played this 20 times, WTF!) in isolation kind of sums up the album for me. The riffing at 3:50 is absolutely brutal; love this track (5*). And Corridor 6 is just so cool; dig this kind of ambient spooky stuff (5*). All the other individual tracks are totally solid (all 4*). Very enjoyable Pike.
Yeh, like Oneirc Pool this is just flat-out awesome from start to finish. A little more atmospheric than Oneirc Pool; don't know what one I prefer as both are fantastic. This whole Pike is just incredible; absolutely flawless stuff (all tracks 5*).
Couldn't agree more with you when you say "...sharp shifts from heavy and chaotic to calm". This is an example of manic Buckethead done right." This is exactly what this is. On this release he combines a lot of elements & themes that he rarely manages to combine effectively and actually makes them work here. This took quite a few listens to really, really get into it; but I now appreciate this one quite a lot. Can't say any individual track is anything particularly amazing (hard to pick one out as outstanding or even representative), but overall this is a really good effort in this direction. As you say, a lot more work went into this with overdubs & the like. Also, for a Pike with no synth work the atmosphere holds up pretty well. Very enjoyable & interesting stuff (all tracks 4*).
It feels like we haven't had anything this stripped down feeling for a while now. The Mermaid Stairwell is lovely, lovely stuff. Has this kind of squawky lead tone; really controlled & played to perfection. A heavenly twelve minutes that doesn't drag in the slightest (5*). Dancing Sparkles is Bucky groove. Not heard this for a while either. Anything new here? Nup. Still digging it though (4*). Fairy Boat comes in big. Another incredibly strong melodic lead line here; a song that just has something to say. Love it (5*). More Bucky groove with Silver Upon the Ocean. Again, nothing new here at all (4*). Not sure how either of these more funky tracks really fit here, but it doesn't affect the listening pleasure for me personally. Great Pike.
Yeh, pretty disappointing first half of decade besides Drift (Pike 231) & Coupon (the track). I think the second half of the decade is a real treat though. Lots of variety & some real keepers there. I dunno about underwhelming, 2016 has had some real highlights for me personally. Lots of crap too though.
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Yeh, kind of annoying he did this. Was hoping we had total Pike release silence until the release of Buckethead 5 13 10 31.
Chart is a great track. Really pacey; heavy but melodic. In fact, some really heavy stuff late on. And as you say, some lovely brooding synth work around the five minute work. You almost don't notice it, but I really like that (5*). Middle track, Granite Track, slows it down. This track is moody, subdued; but epic at the same time. Nice programmed drum work too. Epic build-up at around the four minute mark. This is a great track (5*). Glowing Gate continues the really thoughtful guitar work here. Again, the drumming is really good. All of these sound really well worked on. Has this scything sound-effect thing going on early on which is quite effective. A lot of really abrasive, jarring guitar work on this one; but in a really good way. Very effective track (5*). This whole Pike is fantastic.
Sparks in the Dark has a really lovely feel to it, doesn't it? That dampened riff-work at the start is cool as fuck too. The lead guitar that comes in really complements the rest. Never heard anyone else write anything like this. This track is incredible (5*). Second track, Pond of Peace, is as laid-back as I can remember Buckethead in quite a while. "Peace" really is very appropriate here. Stunning (5*). Do you reckon Garden of Twilight is a twelve string? It certainly sounds like one, but I wasn't sure as Buckethead is so very six-string. Wish this was longer & more developed (4*). A Long Days Walk is just another fantastic track. The big drum beat (not trying to sound like a drummer) is very reminiscent of Colma's programmed beats. Like it that he returns to this when it suits. The Pikes drum sound is a bit stale sometimes. Either way, lovely track (5*). The Pike is stunning.
It's amazing how just a slight tweak can turn what would be a fairly boring uninspired shreddy filler Pike into something a little more interesting, isn't it? Like you, I put this on and thought this doesn't sound very promising. Sometimes it can just be production, sometimes just slightly more dynamic drumming; it doesn't take much. I agree with you that this is better than the boring three-chord + shred &/or bass + shred format that he's pretty much exhausted. This also has some really bizarre totally acoustic bits thrown in. As you say, "acoustic shred". Pretty cool. Like Attic Garden (Pike #238) this is really one big track, so while totally solid, there's not one single track that really jumps out at you or is particularly representative. A good Pike; enjoyable listen without being spectacular (all tracks 4*).
This is probably the worst Christmas release that I can recall; none of them have been particularly memorable tho'. He should have done this for free or something like he's done in the past. Roudy Elves in the Workshop is actually pretty funny. Real samples? (Think people speculated some of it might be his kids.) The riffing might have been quite a decent track on another release (3*). Assembly Line of Monsters and Robots is next up coming in at ten minutes; basically the bulk of the Pike. Not entirely sure what to make of this. It's fast, shreddy, and has loads of silly sound-effects. There's actually some fairly decent little bits & pieces buried away on this track. Somewhere (3*). Winds Through Antlers has a great, unique tone going on. Nothing like the other nonsense; this is an actual viable, serious track. This went straight on the "Twang" playlist (4*). Blitzen Goes Berzerk threatens to go back to the nonsense, but is (as you say) actually a decent track. Has some fairly bizarre moments but is quite an enjoyable listen (4*). Santa’s 20 Minutes Away is back to the nonsense; just Bucky thrashing around with some sound-effects (3*). Wrapped Mega Monsters Under the Tree actually starts quite promising before descending into mindless sound-effect nonsense (3*). And we finish with Reindeer Rampage. There's some slap guitar stuff going on here which is fairly entertaining. Is this almost another viable track? Maybe (4*). I'm sure this Pike wasn't meant to be taken even faintly seriously, but it's total nonsense (aside from Antlers) nonetheless. Also strangely heavy for Christmas in a way which makes no sense.
Again, dunno. Taking 2015, if we're comparing; it has some really, really "difficult" releases for me. Lots of them were pretty hard going; and there really were lots of them. I think 2016 had less of that to be honest; although you only have 24 releases to choose from. Plus, the 2016 highs were superb. Just feels like business as usual to be honest. The Pikes have always see-sawed between mediocre & awesome and everything in-between. They're the model of inconsistency.
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God, how did I get so far behind reviewing your reviews?
Tone is reminiscent of Castle on Slunk Hill (Pike #236) to begin with. But then, on Invisible Railroad, this massive big reverb de-tuned passage comes in (which is cool as fuck), followed by this massive anthemic lead section, then back to the thrashy stuff. All in the first minute! The rest of the track is even more all over the place & totally nuts. I love this four minutes of madness (5*). To Infinity and Beyond is a great track (5*) with some fairly bizarre sound-effects that possibly don't really fit (very Pike #23 Telescape-like). Craig Sager obviously meant a lot to Buckethead! The title track, Out Orbit, starts all muddy ("turgid" in fact) & at first I thought I really wasn't going to like this; especially as it comes in at nearly fifteen minutes. This track is a real mash-up & after a few listens I really started to enjoy this one. Lots of interesting well though-out sections (4*). Yeh, have to agree; Assortments is almost the odd one out here & is sort of plain in comparison to the other tracks. Still totally solid though (4*). Interesting Pike.
Another dedication track; but this time it's to Bernie. Bernie Worrell & Buckethead played & wrote a lot together, so I think this dedication (aside from the track itself) is totally heartfelt. Loosing Bernie probably hurt quite a lot. In respect to the track, it's lovely. All acoustic & paired down. Possibly a little on the long side but I assume he basically wanted a whole Pike to say this. Very nice track with great mood (5*). Litten Well is a great little track. Basically plugged-in acoustic with some great groovy little passages. So short it doesn't really need to go anywhere. Excellent stuff (5*). Ever closes the Pike; another short one due to the long opener. The usual atmospheric synth work opens this one. Another track with a real reflective tone to it. Takes you to other places (5*). Overall, a great Pike.
Nettle bowls in pretty heavy. Has some great little riff sections going on and is a totally solid track (4*). Still not sure if I'm entirely in love with this guitar tone generally though. Praying is totally different. Lovely opening guitar tone; lead phrasing also feels quite different to normal Buckethead here. Feels quite fresh/new with that repetition of the melody; great augmented version of the melody to the end too. I really like this track (5*). Storms is back to the heavy. To be honest, quite a lot of these tracks, while good, are quite samey sounding. If you randomly played me this I'd probably have no clue what year it was from never mind what Pike. Fair thunders along though (4*). Looking at the track lengths and names the Barren tracks seem like the main feature on this Pike. Barren part 1 starts very unusually; that riff is oddly lonely with those little underdeveloped trills on top of only the bass. Quite strange. Part 1 definitely stands on it's own two feet (4*), but part 2 is where it really steps up with some tasty soloing with the lead tone on the cleaner side (5*). Probably 5* if he'd just made it one track. Part 2 is too long though. Open Ancient is back to the heaviness. Again, a little too similar to the other heavy tracks on here. It's really that tone I think. Decent (4*). Leaving Shells doesn't really feel, again, that much different to the other heavy tracks on here. Lots going on & interesting enough (4*), but nothing really truly memorable. Solid release overall with Praying is the stand-out track for me personally.
Rivers in the Seas is a fantastic track. Lovely clean guitar work with the usual wistful lead tone & phrasing (5*). The Roles of Uncertainty begins & is really new sounding; nice tone. Lovely synth work ghosting around in the background on here too. Sort of swings from quite downbeat to more uplifting. Nice contrast (5*). Other Portals & Buckethead is trying something totally new here in respect to his synth work. We're over a minute in here & there's no sign of a guitar part. He needs to develop this side of his compositions. Love the beats on this one; very reminiscent of the drums & guitar tone of some of my early Pikes favourites like Sunbursts (Pike #8), Melting Man (Pike #7), etc. Those bends! This is really good stuff (5*). Final track, Seven Planes, again opens quite unusually. Strange combination of guitar slides & ghostly synth work. Then this quite clean guitar tone & heavier section is introduced. Great track (5*). Seems to be really mixing things up a bit on this Pike. Not an exciting listen, very calm & reflective; but I feel there was some new stuff on here I hadn't really heard from him before. Interesting stuff.
Opening track Half See has quite a groove going for it, then changes to this more expansive open section before returning to the groove again. Pace really picks up later on too. Nice stuff (5*). Dreaming Frequencies is glorious. Strange chiming subtly permeates the opening section and then this magical synth work creeps in. Lead line is beautifully lyrical. Love the beats on this too (5*). Empty Scroll is a lot more upbeat than the first two tracks. Big ringing open chord work here, but still melodically on the money. Has some nice heavy moments (5*). Salvage the Fragment is dripping with attitude with those big beats. Again, very reminiscent of some of the early Sunburst-like tracks. Big beats with some real screaming lead guitar bends going on. Love this Buckethead mood (5*). Stare into Trance is super uplifting, but still has that tinge of Buckethead melancholy. This track feels great to listen to (5*). The final track, Adrift in Sleepwakefulness, brings us back round again to something more dreamy & reflective. Still very uplifting, this one (5*). I agree some of the tracks could perhaps have been developed a little more. Still, the criticism is usually the other way around. This Pike feels pretty special. Everything on it is stellar.
Yeh, lots of shorter tracks on this one. I'll keep individual comments brief here. Opener, The Moss Lands, is the usual melodic Buckethead rhythm work. I quite like him in this mode. Solid (4*). Crescent Moon has some pretty heavy shred stuff that the first track didn't go anywhere near; a few right-hand harmonics from Bucky too, unusual for him. Another solid track (4*). Third track, Antique Wall, opens in far more gentle fashion. Again, some really new sounding stuff going on in some of these more stripped back/clean moments. Not without its heavy moments too (5*). City of Lutes fair clatters along (4*). Groves is indeed more melodic (4*). Sunless Stream is the longest track on this Pike at just under five minutes & is possibly the pick of the bunch. Solo that comes in at ~1:30 is awesome; first short standalone solo I can think of in quite a while that wasn't minutes of worked soloing. I like that groovy little end riff. Not sure if it's particularly representative of the Pike generally, but I quite like this track (5*). Faint Clicking has upbeat groove-rock riffing & brief soloing. Good stuff (4*). Vague visions opens with a pretty messy tone & jumps around a little too much between shredding & chopped up rhythm work for my liking (4*). Final track, Ribbons, doesn't feel much of a departure from the rest of this Pike in being solid without being spectacular. Shredding probably does work a little better on this particular track (4*). Pretty average Pike overall. Nothing truly memorable to speak of.
Thought some of this was quite new sounding; certainly in respect to some of the synth work. Some of that sounded more lush & developed sounding than usual.
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Pike 266 - Far: Great start to this one. Love the acoustic/clean guitars with the space-y synth sounds. Love when the distorted guitars kick in and he's playing acoustic leads over the heavy riffing. That's such a cool combo. This Pike is basically one big buildup. It climaxes in the middle and then slowly comes back down. Love that stuff. The leads at in the final part are explosive and awesome. A little long, but still enjoyable.
It's interesting listening to these Pikes by themselves and not through binging because I'm judging this on its own merits and not really comparing it to anything else. I will say though that this is probably the best Pike of the year so far. One Pike a month has definitely helped relax the creative juices.
Yeh, I listened to the preview track; very nice. I'm sure I'll dig all of this, but won't buy it (or listen to it on YouTube) until one of the sales.
I'll finish my review-of-reviews (the #250's and #260's) at some point over the next few months.
I've still got my Pike summary and top 25 coming up.
I quite liked it too. Makes me think of Somewhere In Time for some reason.
Could not help listening to a new song.
That moment when the 41st second enters....
Wow. Wow. Wow. That tone. That melody. The synth is such a haunting. Very nice rhythm guitar sound as well. If only that solo section were longer.
Ah... he kept it for the last track again. Foro is satisfied.
Let's say 42nd, for Douglas Adams' sake. But remarkable indeed.
Hehe. Yeah indeed. On the brink of the 42nd. Better start it a little earlier to be sure every millisecond is shot good enough into the system.
(post #24,000, although I remember we had some number fuck-up a while back)
Congratulations Foro. 24 (000) = > 42. Coincidence? Think not.
Hey guys, I've been getting into Buckethead lately. A few months back, Cried linked me two Pikes that I liked a good bit, can't remember what they were though. Anyway, I came across a live version of Soothsayer recently on YouTube randomly and thought 'what the hell I'll check this out'. It blew me away and I went to Spotify to check out more of his work. I'm working through some of the Pikes on there and I love it all so far. The super dark heavy/fuzzy sound of Pikes like 79 - Geppetos Trunk is right up my alley, great stuff.
Soon we'll change the name of the forum to Bucketheadfans.
Well, that's pretty cool. It's funny to hear you say you like stuff Geppetos Trunk; not the most obvious go-to Pike for Bucketfans. Just goes to show what a big mixture the Pikes really is. Something for everyone.
My signature has been changed to reflect this new group!
Buckethead. Live. You need to be there.
That's going to be tough. Aspen is a 3 hour drive and I have school/work on weekdays.
Ah, that sucks. Have you seen recent Buckethead activity though? Constant vinyl re-release announcements (of most of the mid-2000's Monti produced albums); variously including "re-recordings" of classic tracks (nobody seems to knows why); exclusive one-off cassette recordings; exclusive one-off live DVD recordings (serious, WTF); albums being renamed ("album formerly known as"); the new Bucketheadland album (but only on vinyl release); Bootsy saying he's making an album with Bucket; and now it looks like he's back on the road around the new album launch in the autumn. Mental.
Separate names with a comma.