Buckethead Pike Album Review
A review of Pike 89 'The Time Travelers Dream' by Buckethead, released October 29th 2014
Good evening everybody, today we're back for another deep dive into Buckethead's Pike album series with Pike 89 'The Time Travelers Dream'. So, let's begin. Woo!!
Released October 29th 2014, Pike 89 was the 7th of 8 albums released that month, dropping a week after Pike 87 'Interstellar Slunk', days after the release of the outstanding Christopher Nolan movie 'Interstellar'. So, clearly Buckethead was in full on space mode.
The 9 track concept album features a crawl through 9 channels of the Time Travelers Dream, beginning with Channel 1. The track sets the dream-like space vibe of the album perfectly with some simple but effective riffage, interlaced with various cut-ins and sound effect overlays very reminiscent of the excellent Pike 23 'Telescape'.
Channel 2 is the longest of the 9 channels at just under 4 minutes with the previous riffage progressing nicely, picking up pace as it goes along with more space like sound effect overlays that'll be a common theme throughout the channels.
Channel 3 slows thing down at the opening before kicking in around the 1.5 minute mark with the overlay sound effects continuing toward the latter part of the track. This one isn't as strong as the previous channels, unfortunately slightly slowing down the momentum early on.
Channel 4 continues where channel 3 left off until the latter part of the track where some nice chord picking comes in, somewhat reminiscent of Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin. Nice.
Channel 5 is more in line with the earlier tracks, shifting direction around the 1 minute mark to a more uptempo beat with far more sound effect overlays. Along with Channel 2, it's the better of the channels so far with a lot more going on.
For Channel 6 we get the most sound effects and overlays o far. The effects might not be for everyone, but personally, just like the previously mentioned Pike 23 'Telescape' I feel they add an extra dimension to the tracks and work especially well on this track.
Channel 7 is the shortest of the channels at just under 2.5 minutes and for me is the weakest channels, not really providing anything new that hasn't already been heard so far or helping the journeys flow. It's just, there.
Channel 8 picks things back up, the sound effects are again on full display and the riffage, though fairly simple, kicks back into foot stomping gear effectively. Along with channel 6 it's one of the albums best tracks reaching a nice crescendo.
The Time Travelers Dream ends with Channel 9. Whilst Channel 8 wrapped up the dream perfectly, Channel 9 acts somewhat as a post-credit scene, sparking images of the great sci-fi movies of the past such as 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' and 'Alien' as well shades of the intro track from Pike 7 'The Shores of Molokai'. A perfect end to the album that as a stand-alone song might not trigger the senses but certainly does when you've traveled through the channels to get there.
Overall, Pike 89 definitely has shades of the excellent Pike 23 'Telescape', though not as strong, and as a concept album, it works well, musters up some space and sci-fi imagery and is an enjoyable listen.
The dream might feel a little long as the tracks go by, but channel 9 wraps things up perfectly, making the journey worth it.
Individually the songs might not be ones you'll revisit that much, but that's not their purpose, this is meant to be heard as a whole, as an album, as one continuous dream. In which case, it works.
After adding up the rating I gave for each track, It came to a respectable 63%, which I'd categorize as Good.
And although this is clearly meant as one continuous piece, the rating of 63% and 4 stars feels about right overall. You can find my song ratings and breakdown on our website natternet.com
So, what's your rating for Pike 89?
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 89 is 45. Then times it by 100. Or simply rate the album as one complete track.
Pike 89 'The Time Travelers Dream' RATINGS (out of 5)
1. Channel 1 *** (3)
2. Channel 2 ***¼ (3.25)
3. Channel 3 **¾ (2.75)
4. Channel 4 *** (3)
5. Channel 5 ***¼ (3.25)
6. Channel 6 ***½ (3.5)
7. Channel 7 **½ (2.5)
8. Channel 8 ***½ (3.5)
9. Channel 9 ***½ (3.5)
Album length: 30:19
Total = 28.25 out of 45 (Album = 63%, Good)
1-20 % = Poor
20- 40 % = Below Average
40-60 % = Average
60-80 % = Good
80-100 % = Awesome