Thursday, December 4, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Giant Robot, by Buckethead

The world is chocked full of skilled guitarists. Some of them are more well known and unique than others, but none of them are quite on the level of Buckethead in many aspects. In all of my years being a rock and metal fan I've never come across anyone quite like him. Not only is his style of playing unique (not to mention incredibly proficient in multiple styles of guitar playing) but he also has quite the unique persona as well. On stage he wears a blank white face mask to cover his identity and a KFC bucket atop his head to "give him his power". Many people who have played Guitar Hero II know him for the solo he contributed: Jordan. He does far more than just shred, however.

Buckethead has been active in all kinds of musical projects since the late 80's. Some of his first albums were only released in Japan (though Buckethead is from the US) because at the time there was not much of a market for such music here in America. The album Giant Robot was originally released in 1994 and was one of these releases. However, in 2000 it was rereleased on a different label to make it more widely available to the rest of the world. This album features some of his more heavy material, but it has softer moments at different points. It is a concept album that is loosely based on Buckethead's own more creepy version of Disney Land that he calls Bucketheadland.

Welcome to Bucketheadland is the first full length track on the album and is one of Buckethead's more well known songs amongst his mostly underground fan base. The song starts off with an eerie robotic voice saying "Welcome to Bucketheadland". From there the listener is taken for a heavy doom filled ride. There are no lyrics to this song (as is the case with most of Buckethead's work), but here and there different voices will come in saying something that further progresses what is assumed to be the story. Oddly enough, this song was originally meant to be a Crazy Train cover but it turned into something else entirely. The solo is lightning quick, though not quite what I would consider signature guitar work for the masked axe man.

One of my personal favorite tracks from this whole album is Binge and Grab. This was originally a song by Buckethead's first band The Deli Creeps. It did have lyrics, but there is no studio recording of the band's original version of it. Instead, Buckethead plays it instrumentally and I think it is just fine as it is. In a way, I get a driving during sunset in summer kind of vibe from it. I put it on whenever I need something to lift my spirits. Not only is it melodic and catchy, but Buckethead once again does not disappoint with some good shredding sessions at a couple of points in the song. I guarantee you will have this track on repeat.

Giant Robot of course has far more to offer than just these tracks. There are even Buckethead's own interpretations of the theme to Star Wars, A Pirate's Life For Me, and the song Pure Imagination from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. There is also a ballad or two along with songs that are far more macabre that I did not delve into. If you're looking for a rock n' roll experience that is far beyond what you would ever expect from the genre and also are not afraid of the more sinister and occasionally grotesque, look no further. You've come to the right place. The music is fun, some times hilarious, and also makes you feel all kinds of emotions. Pick it up. You'll enjoy it.

Giant Robot, by Buckethead receives 5 out of 5 stars.

Track List:

1. Doomride
2. Welcome to Bucketheadland
3. I Come in Peace
4. Buckethead's Toy Store
5. Want Some Slaw?
6. Warweb
7. Aquabot
8. Binge and Grab
9. Pure Imagination
10. Buckethead's Chamber of Horrors
11. Onions Unleashed
12. Chicken
13. I Love My Parents
14. Buckethead's TV Show
15. Robot Transmission
16. Pirate's Life For Me
17. Post Office Buddy
18. Star Wars
19. Last Train to Bucketheadland

Buy the album on Amazon:

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