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Buckethead - Underground Chamber CD (album) cover




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2.38 | 6 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
3 stars PIKE 4 - UNDERGROUND CHAMBER shows BUCKETHEAD going craaaazy and exercising his freaky side. The album contains 10 tracks all titled UNDERGROUND CHAMBER (parts 1-10) and they basically flow together creating one long freaky musical listening experience. Well, musical is a subjective term. This is highly experimental music. It is very avant-garde and free-flowing mixing not only hard rock and metal elements but dark ambient, funk and rather psychedelic tidbits as well. Most of all the album just goes left- field whenever it wants without any need for adhering to rules or regulations or attention spans. The album clocks in around the half hour mark at 30:43 and BUCKETHEAD performs all sounds on board.

This is one that most will hate. There are hooks but they disappear and are replaced by non-related hooks or no hooks at all. It's almost like a sound collage of BUCKETHEADLAND really. I hear different riffs from previous albums and many more that would be recycled on future albums. There is no rhyme or reason as to where metal begins or ends, where electronica is inserted, how tempos flow, really how anything flows. This is true musical liberation. It's almost like a musical equivalent of what would happen if suddenly all the laws of physics were repealed and gravity no longer functioned. Electrical currents no longer flowed or turned into cucumbers. If cats became llamas and beanstalks started sprouting out of your nostrils. Yeah, it's that weird. It's highly surreal but what is magical about this one is how for fleeting moments there are familiar hooks that can catch you but then distorted to extreme weirdness. In fact at times it's like two TV channels competing for screen time with one winning for a while with a smidge of the other trying to burst through but then in the long run both succumb to a new force that bulldozes over them and then that one too is usurped by something new.

This is only for the most adventurous musical souls out there. I cannot think of many albums that even comes close to this in terms of freedom. It is utterly wild and untamed like a free flowing electron relentlessly bombarding molecules of matter and ricocheting violently off in random directions only to hit another particle which changes its musical frequency. While meandering music is more common in ambient and electronic music, BUCKETHEAD keeps the energy level pretty high on this one. This is mostly high energy and chaotic with guitar solos whizzing about like a possessed saw blade flying through a salad bar or a lemur suddenly breakdancing with Cher. The music on here can be funky, it can be head-banging, it can be placid but the only constant is inconsistency. The solos can sizzle accompanied by electronica and then suddenly become funky and then turn into dissonance.

This is definitely up there in terms of weirdness. Only the early Boredoms albums can compete. The emphasis is on keeping things as unpredictable as possible and in that department is totally successful. This is for sure not the most essential BUCKETHEAD album but i actually like this kind of stuff. It is bold, it is brazen. It is just plain nuts. But that is what i like about it. While some albums reek of predictable and checking off the boxes on a certain list, UNDERGROUND CHAMBER excels in being the anti-check-the-box album. It's like laying on the ground and watching clouds roll by. Sometimes they form something familiar and cute and friendly but often are muddled and jumbled gibberish. So too is UNDERGROUND CHAMBER. An album so out there and unique that it deserves a special place just for that achievement. Can't say this is essential but can say it's really good at achieving chaos. For those who love early Boredoms and bands like Psyopus or Behold?. The Arctopus, check this out. Everyone else, run to the hills.

siLLy puPPy | 3/5 |


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