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Buckethead Pike Reviews

A Review of Pike 9 – March of the Slunks by Buckethead, released September 20th 2012

Good evening everybody, today we're continuing down the yellow brick road that is Buckethead's Pike album series, with Pike 9 'March of the Slunks'. So, let's begin. Woo!!

Released September 20th 2012 alongside Pikes 8 & 10, 'March of the Slunks' has a run-time of just under 31 minutes with the album title likely being a play on the 2005 documentary 'March of the Penguins'.

The albums cover was designed by Buckethead's (censored) P-Sticks, and eagle-eyed Buckethead fans out there will notice that the customized Stikfa character also made an appearance on the 2004 classic album 'Cuckoo clocks of Hell'. And would later be on the front cover of Pike 77 'Bumbyride Dreamlands'. Nice.

First up is 'Magellan's Maze' (madge-ellen) which seems to be named after 16th century explorer Ferdinand Magellan.
An uptempo rocker, that immediately gets you right in the groove and doesn't let up. Cool riffs. Solid opener.

At just over 2 minutes track 2 'Burying Toys' continues the uptempo flow, adding the occasional guitar fade-in that complements the songs somewhat eerie tone. Another enjoyable, solid track.

Track 3 'Malbert's Strut' changes direction with some funky blues licks, vintage bass style hand slapping and glorious use of the wah pedal. 'Malbert's Strut' is highly enjoyable, even if it does leave you wishing the track was longer than just over 3 minutes.

Track 4 'Happy Landing' again mixes things up, starting with some funky bass slaps before going into all out guitar popping madness. Not as strong as the previous tracks and certainly not for everybody, but at just under 2.5 minutes, its a good addition to the album.

Next up, 'The Robot Who Lost it's Head'. Seemingly a play on the classic children's book 'The Man Who Lost his Head' it's another solid track, with Buckethead slowing things down and utilizing some glorious bends with that classic guitar tone we all love. Great stuff.

Track 6 'Thud' reverts back to the heavy that the beginning of the album delivered, but with the song just over 1.5 minutes it doesn't quite get going and feels more like an idea for a song, rather than an actual song. And is the albums weakest track.

From the outset of Track 7 'Satellite Invaders' you know it's gonna be good and it doesn't disappoint. Just like 'The Robot Who Lost It's Head' it has the classic tone, bends and vibrato that's a signature in Buckethead's arsenal. I really wish this song was longer, even though at just over 3 minutes it does what it needs to do and is one of the albums standouts.

Next, 'The Other Side of the Island'. Mixing heavy riffage with eerie fade-in's, this almost feels like a sequel to track 2's 'Burying Toy's'. The song really finds its groove mid-way and again in what seems to be a theme with this album, this track is solid.

And if track 8 felt like a continuation of track 2, then track 9 'Ghost Coop' carries on where 'The Robot Who Lost His Head' and 'Satellite Invaders' left off. A ton of feeling and thoroughly enjoyable. This is vintage Buckethead and gets my vote as the standout track on the album. Great stuff.

Track 10 'The Raid' is Buckethead going nuts and experimental with guitar popping, squeals and killswitchery all mixed in with some heavy riffage. Certainly not one of the better tracks on the album, but it picks up as the song goes a long and doesn't get stuck in the mud like a lot of experimental songs tend to do.

The album concludes with track 11 'Vault'. And really this is the track that probably should have been named 'The Robot Who Lost it's Head' because that's exactly what it sounds like. A malfunctioning robot running around the room looking for his head. Definitely not a song for everyone and not a song I would've ended the album with.

Overall Pike 9 has a good flow, is diverse in its song choices, and doesn't just stick to one thing throughout. Unfortunately the final two tracks don't leave the album on a high note and slightly drag it down, but overall it's enjoyable with some excellent moments.

After adding up the rating I gave for each track, It came to 62%, which I'd categorize as Good. And certainly would have received a better rating if not for track 6 and the final two tracks.

So, what's your rating for Pike 9?
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 9 is 55. Then times it by 100.

Pike 9 'March of the Slunks' RATINGS (out of 5)
1. Magellan's Maze   ***½  (3.5)
2. Burying Toys   ***¼  (3.25)
3. Malbert's Strut   ***½  (3.5)
4. Happy Landings   **¾  (2.75)
5. The Robot Who Lost It's Head   ***½  (3.5)
6. Thud   **  (2)
7. Satellite Invaders   ***¾  (3.75)
8. The Other Side of the Island   ***¼  (3.25)
9. Ghost Coop   ****  (4)
10. The Raid   **¼  (2.25)
11. Vault   **¼   (2.25)

Album length: 30:42

Total = 34 out of 55 (Album = 62%, Good!)

1-20 % = Poor
1- 40 % = Below Average
40-60 % = Average
60-80 % = Good
80-100 % = Awesome!


Buy the album HERE


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