Needle in a Slunk Stack
September 24, 2009
By Michael Walsh
I’m never going to stop listening to and loving Buckethead. But something is amiss in his last few albums, and this continues into his latest offering, Needle in a Slunk Stack, his twenty-eighth studio album.
Don’t get me wrong, like all his albums, this one shreds, and does so in the most experimental ways. And while the technical ability of Buckethead is still to be found, the playful fun of his older work isn’t. Giant Robot was the first album I ever listened to from the guitar virtuoso and that album, unlike his more recent efforts, is one I do find myself going back to more often.
I don’t know, maybe nostalgia is getting to me. Yes, nostalgia of four years. I still just don’t think Buckethead’s latest work is as enjoyable for me as his earlier stuff. I personally don’t think he’s had a truly classic and great album since Inbred Mountain came out back in 2005 and Crime Slunk Scene in 2006, even though he has produced a plethora of work since then.
But don’t take this as a negative review for this latest offering. It’s simply more of what we Buckethead fans love the guy for. He shreds and does so different than anyone else in the game can. And for that, a never ending respect and appreciation of the artist forms, even if at times I yearn for something else.
Perhaps more experimental than most of his other recent work, Needle in a Slunk Stack is vastly different than the most beloved albums from Buckethead such as Colma or Population Override. Tracks like “Interview With The Double Man” and the two-part “Wormwood’s Workshop” are most definitely welcome pieces.
The worst thing I could do here is be unappreciative of this artist. He loves music, loves his fans, and shows it by his nonstop releases of explored styles. I’ll take all I can get from Buckethead. Is there a limit to how much one can take? Probably, but I don’t think we’ve reached it yet.