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Buckethead - Orange Tree CD (album) cover




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3.90 | 2 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars PIKE 165 - ORANGE TREE is the 64th album released by BUCKETHEAD in 2015. Once again we get an instrumental PIKE where BUCKETHEAD performs all instrument duties. Once again this PIKE clocks in near the half hour mark at 27:46 and has two long tracks like the last one. I can't stand the fact that the album cover is neither ORANGE nor has a TREE! Shouldn't it be called "Blue Statue?" Well this is a friggin' BUCKETHEAD album and anything goes. Maybe that is an ORANGE TREE in the blue mist!

The title track comes first and at 17:26 is the longest. This is a progressive jazz-rock-fusion track. It starts out with a semi-clean guitar riff that immediately has strange time signatures and the bass is in its own world and has a jazzy feel. The guitar has lots of stop and start runs in the mid tempo range while the drums are all over the place as well. The guitar is sort of distorted by not a lot but the intensity of the guitar riffs is more like a John McLaughlin type from the Mahavishnu Orchestra but there are moments when it's very metal in its delivery but they are fleeting moments and then it's back to the jazz-rock-fusion. There is also a Chick Corea feel at times so BUCKETHEAD is clearly going for the jazz-rock greats of the 70s with this one. This track meanders through different moods sometimes spewing out lightning fast guitar runs and then at times taking a breather in a slow and contemplative soft period of arpeggios. For the most part the guitar parts on this one are outstanding but the weakness is the drumming which thankfully doesn't sound electronic but it is too much of the time a simple beat instead of some cool jazzy type of style that i would expect to accompany this type of guitar playing but there are times it steps up to the plate and becomes more interesting. It ends in a strange way as well. This one is pretty freakin' cool!

"Town Hall Bell" at 10:20 begins with some ambient noise and then joined in by a slow guitar that is building up slowly into some sort of melodic development. The approach actually reminds me some Steve Vai tracks off of "Passion And Warfare" where there is some cool production that accompanies the guitar leads which come and go, sometimes fast and furious and other times a single note or two. Some of the runs are a bit bluesy bringing Jimi Hendrix to mind, other times they are just bizarre and don't remind me of any other guitarist. This basically continues as a guitar playing over a steady stream of ambient noises. No bass or drums to be found here. This is a very weird track. Between the schizoid guitar runs and the ambient angel cry i feel like i'm listening to music from another dimension.

Wow! I like this one a lot. It certainly captures a lot of cool aspects of guitar playing that i dig in a virtuoso player. While the influences are not hard to spot on much of this one, everything is fairly unique in its delivery system. What i like most is how different this music is from anything i've heard before even from BH himself. This is definitely what i call highly innovative and has just enough catchiness to draw you in but is highly sophisticated in its ability to make a complex progressive fašade of sound. I'm impressed. This is a great PIKE.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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