Review

BUCKETHEAD Slaughterhouse on the Prairie

Album · 2009 · Alternative Metal
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3.5/5 ·
siLLy puPPy
I just love some the album titles BUCKETHEAD comes up with for his less than traditional albums. On his 23rd solo release he opted to pay tribute to Laura Ingalls Wilder’s famous book “Little House On The Prairie” and mangled it to become SLAUGHTERHOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE. This one has BUCKETHEAD handling guitar while Dan Monti is along for the ride on bass and programming (i assume the drum machines are included as the drums sound pretty canned here.) The first two tracks “LeBron” and “LeBron’s Hammer” were dedicated to LeBron James’ 24th birthday and were originally free downloads. This album also introduces the term “Pike” in the track “Pumpkin Pike” thus in retrospect possibly a clue to the endless series that would debut the following year. The year 2009 saw four solo albums with SLAUGHTERHOUSE being the first and a warmup to the prolific productivity egg laying antics of the chicken lover from here on.

SLAUGHTERHOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE is another one of those alternative metal type albums with heavy grungy guitar riffs accompanied by bass and drums. It is mostly in fast tempo and aggressively in-yer-face with plenty of BUCKETHEAD’s tricks and trinkets up his sleeves like sizzling solos, squealing licks and unorthodox riffing that take on experiment time signature deviations and are just plain weird at times. Overall SLAUGHTERHOUSE is not the most original of albums and sounds a lot like “Albino Slug” in this regard with a ton of recycled riffs from yesteryear appearing in a new packaged format. While progressive experimentalism is present as on most BH releases, this one has more by-the-numbers type of tracks and pretty much plays it safe as a nice inoffensive alt metal type of album. Some of the time sigs are cool at times though.

Like “Albino Slug,” SLAUGHTERHOUSE is a decent listen with all the tracks having distinct personalities and allowed to unfurl in their own funkiefied manner however this one has the disadvantage of sounding a little samey by the end of the playing time, however overall i like this one a bit more than “Slug,” simply because there are more interesting variations despite the timbres, tones and forcefulness remaining in the heavy alt metal zone. Favorites are “Blood Bayou” (somewhat experimental), “Don’t Use Roosts If You Raise Broilers” (more experimental) and “Robot Checkerboard” (wickedly cool experimental and funky) whereas the rest are cool but not as so. This album definitely needs more variety and is a prognosticator for the plethora of Pikes down the road that would incorporate a few killa tracks and a bunch of lesser than so. The thing that saves this album is all the weird echoey effects and fluid rhythmic drives that are surreal in many ways.
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