BUCKETHEAD (as Bucketheadland) / Pike 257 - Blank Slate / 14th release of 2017 / All instrumental / Contains 6 tracks / Clocks in at 30minutes 19seconds / everything played by Buck-buck-buckethead
“Blank Slate” (5:54) starts with a cheery anthemic guitar lick and a beefy bass and drumbeat and then ups the ante with some serious distortion and alternative metal riffage. The main gist is the less distorted intro lick inserts itself into the more distorted grungefest from time to time and the two styles switch off. After a while it picks up speed a little more and has a bridge type of change-it-up. Not a bad track. Has some good songwriting on this one
“Opened To The Air” (6:57) begins with a cleaner more subdued guitar and subtle cymbal action. It stays warm and cozy for a while as a melody takes its time to slowly unfold. After a long two minutes of warming up the drums get a little excited but then NOTHING! Well nothing new that is. It reverts back to cute and cuddly lullaby time again. Was hoping for some dynamics shifting around but this one stays in the clouds with no earth, wind or fire to be found. Well some electric guitar work does finally make an appearance at the end but too little too late and this one is waaaay too long
“Wind Of Hollow” (3:30) begins suspiciously close to the last track only this one is more ethereal with ambient swirls of sound swishing around in the background. The tempo is slightly more upbeat but still in the land of lollygagging. Still though, the atmosphere is more Floydian and therefore a space rock vibe complete with Waters and Gilmour guitar worship in action. Tempo remains fairly mid-paced at the peak of things
“Task In Trunk” (3:30) is another on clean guitar and slo-mo mode. Drums seem a little too strong for the light and fluffy stringed instruments. Melody seems to be canned as it sounds like a gazillion other tracks in the PIKE series. Meh
“Solar Staple” (7:31) offers a much needed uptempo step up from the dreamy filling of this PIKE. It begins with a feisty drumbeat and bass accompanied by a jittery guitar riff and then some power chords kick in. It continues a receptive chord sequence that eventually allows the lead guitar to take the stage to solo around. Another predictable and overdone style of PIKE track at this point. Meh
“Lockun" (2:57) totally goes against the grain and cranks out some ferocious thrash metal with staccato chord and blistering blitzkrieg riffs that remind me of classic Pantera before turning into a spidery guitar lick that slips in between thrashy riff sections. While not the most brilliant track of BH’s career, this IS the best track on this PIKE but too little, too late to save this PIKE from being a cold turkey. At least there’s one track that i truly love and this is it!
This PIKE is totally pleasant but unthrilling suitable for background music but pretty ho hum and uninspiring. Nothing original, just recycled PIKE ideas that weren’t really needed to be repeated