Buckethead Pike Album Reviews
A Review of Pike 1 'Its Alive' by Buckethead released May 15th 2011
Good evening everybody, with it now being almost a decade since guitar hero Buckethead's glorious Pike album series began, it's time to take a look back at a series which at the making of this video, is almost 300 albums deep. And first up, the album where it all began, Pike number 1 'It's Alive'. Woo!!
'It's Alive' was Released 2 days after Buckethead's 42nd birthday on May 15th 2011, 2 weeks before his 2011 tour began (which started May 27th 2011).
And it's one of the few Pike album CD's to be sold with it's original front and back cover artwork. With the series later being replaced with original signed covers with a numbered CD.
Pike 1's album cover was illustrated by Buckethead's (censored) P-Sticks, based on the famous scene from the 1931 classic horror movie 'Frankenstein'.
And the Buckethead logo with the 13 cents and Pike number is a play on early comic book covers, notably Marvel comics, with Buckethead of course using his favourite number, 13.
The 8 track album clocked in at just over 31 minutes long (31:10), which at the time was one of the shortest albums Buckethead had ever released, but has since become a standard run-time for the Pikes.
Like the rest of the Pikes and many of Buckethead's albums from the early 2000's, the album was co-produced with Dan Monti, also known as 'Brewer'.
As well as playing bass and programming on almost all of the Pikes, Dan has credits for work with Metallica, Guns N Roses, Serj Tankian and many more artists. And deserves a huge amount of credit for what the Pike album series has become.
'It's Alive' and the Pike album series kicked off with track number 1 'Lebrontron'.
Released a few months prior to the albums release, the track is dedicated to Basketball star Lebron James. Excellent riffs, great flow, a cool solo mid way. It's a great way to kick off the series.
Track 2 'Tonka' is heavy both on riffs and delivery with some cool killswitchery along the way. It does slightly lose its way later in the track but still an enjoyable listen.
Track 3 'Peeling Out' is 15 seconds of Buckethead shredding and in all honesty has no need to be on the album.
Track 4 'Barnyard Banties' goes from some cool funky bass slapping to guitar popping and back again. It's a nice change of direction for the album even if it's nowhere near as strong as tracks 1 & 2.
Track 5 'Crack the Sky' is another song that was released before the album came out and is also dedicated to a Basketball star 'Blake Griffin'. And like 'Lebrontron' it's an instant classic, highly enjoyable, great riffs, an outstanding solo around the 2.5 minute mark and a mighty outro.
Track 6 'The Hatch' is a stop-start bass jam that for me doesn't quite get going or really find it's feet.
Track 7 'Brooding Peeps' picks things right back up with a solid, consistent song thats right up there with the quality of 'Lebrontron' and 'Crack the Sky'. Cool riffs, fun solo. Overall, the albums 3rd best track.
The final song of the album 'Picking the Feathers' is Buckethead in full on oddball mode. Mixing what appears to be banjo with the occasional heavy riffage like he's on a roundtrip to Inbred Mountain. A fairy unremarkable song, it doesn't leave the album on a high note but, that's alright.
The overall percentage I gave for Pike 1 was 55% which I'd categorize as Average. Although to be fair this does include the rating for the 15 second song 'Peeling Out' which severely dragged the rating down. Without including the song, the rating would be 63.5%, which I'd categorize as Good and feels about right.
So, the Pike albums series got off to a good start and Buckethead was only just warming up.
Pike 1 'It's Alive' RATINGS (out of 5)
1. Lebrontron ***** (5)
2. Tonka ***¼ (3.25)
3. Peeling Out 0 (0)
4. Barnyard Banties *3⁄4 (1.75)
5. Crack the Sky ***** (5)
6. The Hatch ** (2)
7. Brooding Peeps **** (4)
8. Picking the Feathers * (1)
Total = 22.25 out of 35 (Album = 63.5% rating without Peeling out)
Total = 22.25 out of 40 (Album = 55% rating with Peeling Out)
🤘VOTE HERE: Here's what the fans voted for Pike 1 'Its Alive'🤘
Album length 31:10
To work out what percentage you'd give the album, rate each song out of 5 stars, add up your total and divide it by the total score possible, which for Pike 1 is 40 (or 35 without including 'Peeling Out'. Then times it by 100.
1-20 % = Poor
1- 40 % = Below Average
40-60 % = Average
60-80 % = Good
80-100 % = Awesome!