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Buckethead - Half Circle Bridge CD (album) cover




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3.90 | 2 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars PIKE 159 - HALF CIRCLE BRIDGE is the 58th album released by BUCKETHEAD in 2015. Dude's continuing down the roller coaster in BUCKETHEADLAND just throwing out a new release as fast as he can. Some things never change however, like for example he plays all the instruments on another all instrumental album. The running time is close to thirty minutes with this one being at 31:16 and despite a whopping eight tracks on the last PIKE, here we only get four. Hopefully they're good!

Track one "Half" at 5:03 starts off sounding like some kind of industrial metal with a groove like "Jump Man" from "Monsters And Robots." Nice riff and nice lead response but drum machines are a tad cheesy but for some reason i'm not totally put off by them. Some well synthesized guitar tones that change it up often are keeping this one rather interesting. Not only is this interesting in how the tones and effects change it up but this is very melodically pleasing as well. The way the drum machines change up and are being used is actually becoming nicer as well. Yeah, this is working for me! The main riff that recurs actually has a Hendrix type of blues sound to it but trades off with other frenetic solos and guitar effects.

Track two "Circle" at 12:36 is the longest track and starts out with extreme echoey guitars, bass and drum machine. Once again the guitars are interesting but the drums not at first. The guitars change to a thrashy riff frenzy. This one continues with alternating heavy metal riffs and more echoey guitars backing it up. The solos are highly electronically processed. The drum machines actually sound good sometimes but at other times they sound so cheesy. Some of the chromatic guitar workouts are pretty sophisticated and BUCKETHEAD really shows off his chops on this one. I'm liking this mostly. It's kind of a progressive jam session but the drums bug me throughout most of this. Overall a wild and frenetic ride!

Track three "Bridge" at 3:08 and starts off with two strange guitar riffs trading off. Another higher pitched riff plays with them and trades. They kinda bounce back and forth. Mid-tempo with confusing time sigs as it seems to be a steady beat but slowly morphs back and forth while guitar riffs trade off. Some cool solos as well. Hmmmm. Kinda like it but same cheesy drum machine pisses me off.

Track four "Tet" at 10:20 and starts out even stranger than the rest. What is it? A muffled bass that is processed through some providing a beat? Whatever it is it's cool and there are guitars in the background dancing or perhaps flying through the air with electronic noises fluttering about. This is actually really avant-garde as it then changes to a bizarre electronica party with layered rhythmic effects. Very rhythmic but melodically strange. My kind of craziness! It then suddenly changes into something totally new. New beat, new electronic noise parade and there it is off on its way. Just as weird but the cheesy drum beat is back! Doh! Guitars are cool though as is the electronics that sound like their taking off into the stratosphere. OK, drum machine or not i'm liking this one. It is some of the coolest IDM you could think of. BUCKETHEAD is obviously capable of more than guitar riffs and funky metal. This is actually quite brilliant.

Except for the times when the drum machine is on cheese mode i actually think this is a brilliant album musically. Another gem in the slunk stack and despite the cheesy drum machine it isn't always so and i'm so in awe of everything else here that i'm going to give this a 4 star rating any way. OMG! Two great PIKES in a row. How'd that happen?

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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