Buckethead Pike Album Review
A review of Pike 252 'Bozo in the Labyrinth' by Buckethead, released February 23rd 2017
Good evening everybody, today we're back for more twists and turns through Buckethead's Pike album series, with Pike 252 'Bozo in the Labyrinth'. So, let's begin. Woo!!
Released February 23rd 2017, Pike 252 the gloriously titled 'Bozo in the Labyrinth', took its name from the 1950's animated series 'Bozo: The Worlds Most Famous Clown' with one of the voices actors being Disney legend 'The Guest of Honor' and 'Ghost Host' Paul Frees. Who Buckethead has referenced numerous times.
The 6 track album begins with it's longest track, the 7.5 minute 'Mirrors of the Sleeping Mind'. What begins as a slow beat, somewhat melancholy track, picks up the pace around the 2 minute mark, launching into its soloage a minute later which continues gloriously for the next 4.5 minutes. A solid opener who's only let down is the painfully flat and generic drum track.
Track 2 'Cliff Faces' is a riff driven track that builds nicely throughout with a futuristic vibe. There's no solo and the song doesn't need one. Thankfully the drum track is a little bit better on this one, helping the song have more character than the previous. Good stuff.
Track 3 is the 7 minute 'Flooded Ballroom'. Immediately the song locks you in with its uptempo crunchy rock riffage. A headbanging, foot stomping track and a blues rock treat. The highly underrated solo at 3.5 minutes onwards is a fine example of how well Buckethead can pull of a rock solo without needing to resort to shredding to blow your mind. For me it's the albums best track. Rock star Buckethead. Hell yeah.
Track 4 is the 2.5 minute 'Branch'. A nice shift in tone, Buckethead whips out his semi acoustic for some spaghetti western style noodling. Its in and out, does the job and doesn't outstay its welcome. Nice.
Track 5 Is 'The Chambers', leading with some upbeat feel good riffage, like Track 2 this is another track that has a well paced, fantastic build. There's an excellent section just over the 3 minute mark that could've easily made up its own song but of course, Buckethead throws it in there for a few bars and then moves on. Another solid track.
The album concludes with it's title track 'Bozo in the Labyrinth'. Kicking off with some nasty growling riffage that's followed by more semi acoustic work before the growls return mid song accompanied by some crazy shred. A bizarre mix of styles, that as I've said before, on paper should never work, but Buckethead always finds a way.
Overall, Pike 252 is a solid album with a great mix of tracks and styles from blues rock, shred, futuristic, avant garde and more. From start to finish it flows excellently, none of the tracks outstay their welcome and are ones you can revisit numerous times. Pike 252 might be one of the better examples of an album you can show to new fans or people who have never heard of Buckethead, to show them that he can do it all.
After adding up the rating I gave for each track, It came to a glorious 71%, which I'd categorize as Very Good!. And you can find my song ratings and breakdown on our website natternet.com
So, what's your rating for Pike 252? 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 252 is 30. Then times it by 100. )
Pike 252 'Bozo in the Labyrinth' RATINGS (out of 5)
1. Mirrors of the Sleeping Mind ***½ (3.5)
2. Cliff Faces ***¾ (3.75)
3. Flooded Ballroom **** (4)
4. Branch ***¼ (3.25)
5. The Chambers ***½ (3.5)
6. Bozo in the Labyrinth ***¼ (3.25)
Album length: 30:31
Total = 21.25 out of 30 (Album = 71%, Very Good!)
1-20 % = Poor
20- 40 % = Below Average
40-60 % = Average
60-80 % = Good
80-100 % = Awesome
Buy the Album HERE