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Buckethead - Population Override CD (album) cover




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4.12 | 22 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars Even on the earlier albums BUCKETHEAD was trying to please an eclectic crowd of music lovers. For music nerds such as myself, he would release albums such as "Island Of Lost Souls" delving headfirst into experimental nosedives into the unknown that left the uninitiated scratching their heads as to what they were listening to however with the followup his avant-garde expression, BUCKETHEAD released his twelfth album and second of 2004 in the form of POPULATION OVERRIDE which was more of collaborative effort with keyboardist Travis Dickerson and drummer Pinchface.

The album was pretty much a collection of spontaneous riffs that were floating around during the sessions of the Cornbugs album "Brain Circus" and kinda just took off as extended bluesy jams with a funky bass back support system. While originally released in 2004 with only ten tracks, it was reissued in 2014 as a double vinyl LP album that included an extra eight tracks although the extra running time only extends from 55:22 to 70:33 as the extra tracks are fairly short with most running under the two minute mark. The album has a the theme of overpopulation by means of the track titles only since all is instrumental.

The album is supposed to be a tribute of some sort to the great vinyl records of the 60s and 70s and i have to say that the first track "Unrestrained Growth" does very much remind me of something that could have occurred in an alternative universe where the Grateful Dead jammed with Sly & the Family Stone with Hendrix dropping in for some lead guitar support. The album is actually quite varied in sound with some upbeat funk rockers like "A Day Will Come" that sound like Herbie Hancock hung out with Budgie for a few sessions! Slower tracks like "Cruel Reality Of Nature" and "Earth Heals Herself" are space rock numbers bringing classic 70s Pink Floyd to mind without coming off as too derivative since there is always a slightly jazzy blues feel to many of the tracks and many sprinkled with retro mellotron and organ runs.

Overall POPULATION OVERRIDE is a very enjoyable journey into a melodic jam session that runs the gamut of heavier funk-laden rock, bluesy shuffles and space rock to contemplative slower tracks that are more ethereal. All of the tracks have catchy grooves and a sense of lament does permeate the atmosphere which in a way does contribute to the overarching theme. The extra six tracks on the vinyl re-release come from different albums actually. "Inferno," "Braingate" and "CS-118" come from the first Cobra Strike album (side project band) and "Covert," "Blue Crystal" and "Aluminum Clouds" were lifted off of the "Funnel Weaver" album which makes them honestly a ridiculously lame attempt at creating extra tracks for a re-release therefore rather inessential unless you must own every single issue of every single recording of BUCKETHEAD which may either bankrupt you or send you to the insane asylum. Or both.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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