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Buckethead - Brain As Hamenoodle (with Brain) CD (album) cover




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3.00 | 2 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
3 stars While BUCKETHEAD was releasing more albums under his own name exclusively he was also continuing to release collaborative efforts as well. In 2010 he and his friends Bryan "Brain" Mantia on drums and Melissa Reese on keyboards unleashed three collaborative releases. Two of these were massive boxed sets where all three got equally artist billing whereas the third one is only attributed to BUCKETHEAD and BRAIN since it doesn't feature Melissa Reese despite it fitting in with the other "Kind Regards" boxed sets. The album titled BRAIN AS HAMENOODLE is yet another experimental album that focuses on minimalistic bass and drums. I have no idea what the title refers to although i suspect it has something to do with the fact that previous albums were titled "Chicken Noodles" and the HAM part refers to Brain's personality in some way. This is pure speculation.

The album starts out with some girl uttering gibberish that ends with the term HAMENOODLE and then the funk session begins. This whole album is basically BUCKETHEAD slapping away on the bass and BRAIN pounding on the drums. Surprisingly despite the limited instrumentation this one has a lot of differing styles. While the opening "Meet Hamen" has a clear funk vibe, the following "Brad P" is more laid back with a slow groovin' bass that lets the percussion to have a hyperactive spastic attack. All in all this one reminds a bit more of the band Ruins only more on valium and without the zeuhl. After all that band has done many albums with nothing more than bass and drums and constantly finds new ways to invent that sound. Unlike that band there are no vocals to be found here. Only progressive rock meets funk workouts where some segments work better than others.

The comparison to Ruins is more than just a fleeting feeling. The extended jams that range from calm and placid to full-on freak outs is exactly the kind of freaky stuff that Tatsuya Yoshida would come up with. This album allows BUCKETHEAD to fully raise his freak flag on the bass and he nails it doing the craziest things as he does on guitars. BRAIN is equally competent on the drum set and is a master of changing things up. He has been rather reserved on many of his collaboration albums but on this one he really lets loose with a nonstop series of rhythmic assaults that seamlessly meld with the bass. While this isn't quite energetic enough to be considered metal there are energized moments that pass as heavy rock but for the most part this one remains in funk rock mode with other excursions into the avant-garde and beyond. Better than it sounds but not the kind of stuff i'm going to seek out many repeat listens either. Unlike a typical Ruins album, it doesn't quite have the zany zeal and over-the-top aesthetics that make their albums so much fun.

siLLy puPPy | 3/5 |


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