Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Buckethead - Electric Sea - 2012

I feel a little bit bad getting you started on Buckethead, simply because the man redefines the word "prolific." How can I tell? "Electric Sea" is his thirty-fifth album. I mean, seriously, the man must be recording all the time. That said, you'll probably end up finding you like a branch of Buckethead's material and are significantly less interested in another.

I'm the same way - I love about a third of Buckethead's stuff, I can go either way with a third of it and a third of it only appeals to me when I'm in a very, very specific mood.

The Buckethead stuff that I think appeals to the widest swath of people is, by my reckoning, the following records: "Electric Tears," "Population Override," "A Real Diamond In The Rough," "Shadows Between The Sky," "Captain EO's Voyage" and "Electric Sea." These albums are also generally the least "heavy."

See, here's the thing about Buckethead - the guy is a guitar genius, and he experiments a lot. So there's no guarantee from album to album that anything will sound even vaguely the same. Sometimes he's doing acoustic soundscapes. Sometimes he's doing thrasher metal. Sometimes he's doing wobbly funk guitar. Sometimes he plays in Guns'n'Roses. He can literally do anything he wants to with a guitar. I saw him live a few years back in Santa Cruz and it was a crazy show, and he wandered through a dozen different styles during that concert.

"Electric Sea" is a good jumping on point - with the Enrico Morricone-esque "El Indio," the soft rain-like acoustic dances of "Beyond The Knowing," to the relaxed oceanside sunset of the title track. You'll get a good idea of the kinds of things that Buckethead can do when he's in that kind of mood. If you find it appeals to you, follow my list and you should get a lot more stuff you'll love. If you like what you hear, but you want more thrashy, fretboard lightning, you can explore the long "Bucketheadland" and find a lot more metal-type stuff there, but again, you'll find his range of metal is as broad and varied as the rest of his stuff. ("It's Alive" is sort of a great sampler platter of most of the styles you'll find represented, so maybe start there.)

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