Buckethead Pike Reviews
A review of Pike 20 – 'Thaw' by Buckethead, released July 30th 2013, Digitally July 14th 2014
Good evening everybody, today we're back with another deep dive into guitar hero Buckethead's Pike album series, with Pike 20 'Thaw'. So, let's begin. Woo!!
Released July 30th 2013, Pike 20 dropped the very same day as Pike 19 with no album cover or title. It would over a year later on July 14th 2014 that Pike 20 was given the name 'Thaw' along with song titles and a gloriously sinister looking cover art. Which, by the way, the dirty old man on the front cover would return for Pike 92 'The Splatterhorn'. Nice.
The 9 track album kicks off with its title track and longest track, the 8 minute 'Thaw'. A slow crawl track that picks up pace as it goes along, the guitar tone and feedback are raw, nasty and phat. Something which will be a common trend throughout. It doesn't quite flow as a song and does drag a few minutes towards the end, but there's some nice riffage and it certainly sets the tone of the album.
Track 2 is the 2.5 minute 'Melting Season'. Immediately locking you in with its opening riff, the flow is excellent really hitting some nice head banging moments, backed by a solid drum track. Sure its not a song that will wow the audience, but its in and out and enjoyable. Job done.
Track 3 'Room Full of Frozen Combs' is next, the first minute sounds like Buckethead has left the studio and forgot to unplug his guitar, as the feedback loops, thankfully he returns after a minute to plug in for some heavy riffage. Although there's some nice riffs and the song ends on a high note, its let down by its opening filler.
Track 4 'Kept in Batteries' is more in line with track 2, opening with a cool riff followed by some nasty riffage. This is raw and angry, giving off vibes of an 80's metal band jamming in their basement. Again, its not wow but its enjoyable and a song that serves well during a workout.
Track 5 is the 3 minute 'Dry'. What starts off as more of the same then hits a highly addictive riff at the 25 second mark, one that's impossible not to bang your head to. There's some more heavy riffs sprinkled throughout and along with Melting Season, its one of the more enjoyable tracks so far.
Track 6 is the albums 2nd longest track at just under 7 minutes 'Fragmented'. Again there's some cool riffs throughout, many of which couldve made up their own song but are often discarded after a few bars. Fragmented is the perfect name for this track, as though Buckethead dropped the song on the floor, it shattered into a million fragments and then he tried putting it back together. Does it work? Hmm.
For Track 7 it's 'Dust Filter'. This is a far more thought out, and polished track than anything previous. It doesn't discard its main riff and instead rides with it throughout. And although short, it's an addictive, enjoyable ride. In and out, good stuff.
Track 8 'In the Bin' is next, and things are continuing to pick up. Again it's a track that's clearly been thought out, there's structure and it's well polished. The main riff is simple but solid, and isn't just thrown away after a few bars. Its the album 2nd shortest song but for me, the albums best.
The album concludes with it's shortest track, the 1.5 minute 'Fountains in a Wire'. There's an excellent metal riff around the 30 second mark that couldve been the building blocks of a solid track, but it doesn't expand on the lick and instead it's forgotten about 30 seconds later. It's not a bad track, but it's certainly wasted potential and not a strong end to the album.
Overall, Pike 20 is an up and down Pike. The drums throughout are solid and suit the album perfectly, and there really is a lot of excellent riffs, but dare I say, there's also quite a bit of filler. The songs that have structure are far more enjoyable and it's obvious within seconds which ones they are.
Even though its not a standout Pike, there's 5 tracks that I often come back to, but those tracks only make up 12.5 minutes of the 32 minute album. And, that's kind of the problem.
After adding up the rating I gave for each track, It came to 59%, which I'd categorize as Average.
You can find my individual song ratings & breakdown on our website natternet.com
So, what's your rating for Pike 20? Be sure to let us know!
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 20 is 45. Then times it by 100.
Pike 20 'Thaw' RATINGS (out of 5)
1. Thaw **¾ (2.75)
2. Melting Season ***¼ (3.25)
3. Room of Frozen Combs **½ (2.5)
4. Kept in Batteries *** (3)
5. Dry ***¼ (3.25)
6. Fragmented **¾ (2.75)
7. Dust Filter ***¼ (3.25)
8. In the Bin ***½ (3.5)
9. Fountains in a Wire **¼ (2.25)
Album length: 32:05
Total = 26.5 out of 45 (Album = 59%, Average)
1-20 % = Poor
20- 40 % = Below Average
40-60 % = Average
60-80 % = Good
80-100 % = Awesome
Buy the album HERE