11 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

With Enter the Chicken Buckethead goes accessible—for him, anyway. Every incarnation of the Bucketed One appears here: guitar-shredder supreme, avant-garde noodler, demented circus clown. He even sings on a few tracks. The album is as schizophrenic as its creator, ranging from the heavy metal assault of “Botnus” to the (dare we say it) radio-friendly “Running From the Light” and “Waiting Hare,” the latter featuring the vocals of Serj Tankian of System of a Down who also produced the CD. He gets further help from metal screecher Efrem Shulz, Azam Ali of Vas, and, on “Three Fingers,” MC Saul Williams, who deadpan raps over a funk metal groove. Buckethead’s bizarre and irreverent sense of humor is also on display in such songs as “Funbus,” a campy, death metal shot at artists (and listeners) who take themselves too seriously. He does fire off a few of the lightning-speed solos for which he is revered in certain circles, but the emphasis is on the compositions and overall flow of the songs. He may be eclectic, but on Enter the Chicken, he also manages to be focused.

EDITORS’ NOTES

With Enter the Chicken Buckethead goes accessible—for him, anyway. Every incarnation of the Bucketed One appears here: guitar-shredder supreme, avant-garde noodler, demented circus clown. He even sings on a few tracks. The album is as schizophrenic as its creator, ranging from the heavy metal assault of “Botnus” to the (dare we say it) radio-friendly “Running From the Light” and “Waiting Hare,” the latter featuring the vocals of Serj Tankian of System of a Down who also produced the CD. He gets further help from metal screecher Efrem Shulz, Azam Ali of Vas, and, on “Three Fingers,” MC Saul Williams, who deadpan raps over a funk metal groove. Buckethead’s bizarre and irreverent sense of humor is also on display in such songs as “Funbus,” a campy, death metal shot at artists (and listeners) who take themselves too seriously. He does fire off a few of the lightning-speed solos for which he is revered in certain circles, but the emphasis is on the compositions and overall flow of the songs. He may be eclectic, but on Enter the Chicken, he also manages to be focused.

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About Buckethead

Buckethead is one of the most bizarre and enigmatic figures in American underground and experimental music since Parliament-Funkadelic birthed their bevy of cosmic characters in the mid-'70s. An accomplished multi-instrumentalist best known for his virtuosic command of the electric guitar, Buckethead is one of the instrument's most recognizable contemporary innovators, his rapid-fire riffing, near-robotic fretwork, and idiosyncratic lead lines combining elements of Yngwie Malmsteen, Adrian Belew, Slayer's Kerry King, P-Funk's Eddie Hazel, and avant-improv artist John Zorn's Scud-attack sax abuse. His first group, the San Francisco-based metal-funk combine the Deli Creeps, were a regional success, but disbanded before they could release anything. Buckethead's solo career has been more productive, thanks mostly to the motivation of Zorn and Bill Laswell, the latter of whom Buckethead has also recorded and toured with in Praxis. Laswell has also produced a number of Buckethead's solo albums (including Dreamatorium and Day of the Robot) and included him on more than a dozen one-off recordings with the likes of Hakim Bey, Bootsy Collins, Anton Fier, Jonas Hellborg, and Bernie Worrell. In addition to releases including 1998's Colma, Buckethead has also contributed soundtrack material to such films as Last Action Hero and Street Fighter. Buckethead returned in 1999 with Monsters and Robots, after which he joined the short-lived re-formation of Guns N' Roses. A steady stream of releases followed into the 21st century ranging from the contemplative Electric Tears to a more electronica/rock hybrid, and collaborations with San Francisco's underground hip-hop scene. In the following decade, he averaged a few releases a year, teaming up with dozens of artists, including Les Claypool, Iggy Pop, and Mike Patton, and in 2008, he collaborated with actor/musician Viggo Mortensen for Pandemonium from American. A dizzying string of releases would follow before the actor and the enigmatic guitarist worked together again in 2011 on Reunion. The following year, Buckethead released Electric Sea, a follow-up to his 2002 album, Electric Tears. ~ Sean Cooper

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