Buckethead Pike Reviews
A Review of Pike 3 – 3 Foot Clearance by Buckethead, released August 17, 2011 as Pike 3 /December 21st 2010 as Happy Holidays
Good evening everybody, today we're back with another installment of our deep dive into Buckethead's Pike album series, with Pike 3 '3 Foot Clearance'. So, let's dive. Woo!!
Originally Pike 3 was released December 21st 2010, 5 months before the Pike series ever began, under the title 'Happy Holidays'. With each cover hand drawn by Buckethead, which would later be a common theme in the Pike series.
Happy Holidays was re-released almost a year later on August 17th 2011 as Pike 3 '3 Foot Clearance'. So, technically speaking, Pike 3 was the first Pike to be released or at the least, the first Pike to be heard.
And at just over 40 minutes in length, it's the longest pike album in the entire series to date.
Like many of the early Pike album releases Pike 3 came with it's original covert art illustrated by longtime Buckethead collaborator Frankenseuss. And It was the artwork that inspired Buckethead to name the album '3 Foot Clearance'. Glorious.
The album kicks off with the excellent 'Griffins Spike', named after NBA star Blake Griffin, who Buckethead would also name another Pike song after on Pike 1 'Crack the Sky'.
Cool opening riffs that immediately get you in the zone, followed by a raw unfiltered sounding shred section at the 2.5 minute mark before reverting back to its opening sequence. A strong start.
Track 2 is dedicated to then recently deceased friend and former Praxis alumni 'Rammelzee – Hero of the Abyss'. Heavy riffs , great pacing with a crazy tapping solo around the 3 minute point. Another solid, enjoyable track.
Track 3 'Floating Graveyard' has some dark early Black Sabbath-esque vibes with its creeping riffs and pounding drums. The song will have you majorly banging your head around 1.5 minutes in. Great stuff.
Track 4 'The Ballad of Jerry Mono' named after the character from Buckethead's favourite tv show Giant Robot is a well paced power chord ballad. Enjoyable but maybe not one you'd revisit first over the previous 3 tracks.
Track 5 'H.D Autopsy' picks up where Floating Graveyard left off with heavy riff,s, thunderous drums and numerous shred solo's all in just over 3 minutes. A glorious action-packed track.
Track 6 'Droid Hunt' is an up and down track that might lose a few people early with it's oddball guitar popping but really finds it footing mid-song and ends on a real high note.
Track 7 'Battlefields' is a cool rock song driven along by a top notch riff with excellent higher octave overlays. Another solid track in line with tracks 1 & 2.
Track 8 'Handdprint Ornament' which for some strange reason is spelt with double D's, is an outstanding slow ballad where Buckethead really excels and delivers more than usual. Packed full of feeling with expert delivery. For me, it's the albums best track, a notch slightly about Griffin's Spike.
Track 9 'Three Headed Guardian' keeps the quality of songs rolling along with another riff laden track with heavy drums and excellent rhythm.
Track 10, the excellently named 'Harpoon the Goon' kicks off with shades of Rage Against the Machines 'Killing in the Name' of before going all out AC/DC style 1.5 minutes in. An enjoyable foot-stomping rocker.
Unfortunately the quality of the album at this point severly dips with the remaining 3 tracks, which is really unfortunate as the album this far has been really consistent with it's quality and delivery.
Track 11 Critical Leg Assignment see's Buckethead in off the wall experimental mode. A song that has some cool moments but really doesn't quite flow as a song.
Track 12 'Siamese Butterfly' has some neat ideas but again doesn't flow as a song and not one you'll revisit anytime soon.
And the final track 'X-Ray' is 49 seconds long, it really doesn't need to be on the there and in all honesty is a very poor way to end what has been a good album.
After adding up the rating I gave for each track, It came to 58.5%, which I'd categorize as Average. The rating was severely let down by the major drop in quality of the final 3 tracks. This is a good album that up until track 11 has plenty of enjoyable moments and definitely one worth checking out.
So, what's your rating for Pike 3?
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 3 is 65. Then times it by 100.
Buckethead's 3 Foot Clearance is a Happy Holiday.
Pike 3 -3 Foot Clearance RATINGS (out of 5)
1. Griffin's Spike **** (4)
2. Rammelzee – Hero of the Abyss ***½ (3.5)
3. Floating Graveyard ***¾ (3.75)
4. Ballad of Jerry Mono *** (3)
5. H.D Autopsy ***¼ (3.25)
6. Droid Hunt **¾ (2.75)
7. Battlefields ***¼ (3.25)
8. Handprint Ornament ****¼ (4.25)
9. Three Headed Guardian ***¼ (3.25)
10. Harpoon the Goon ***½ (3.5)
11. Critical Leg Assignment ** (2)
12. Siamese Butterfly *½ (1.5)
13. X-Ray 0
Album length: 40:37
Total = 38 out of 65 (Album = 58.5%, Average)
1-20 % = Poor
1- 40 % = Below Average
40-60 % = Average
60-80 % = Good
80-100 % = Awesome!
Buy the album here