1/  Whitewash                                  (Buckethead)                  4.42
  2/  For Mom                                    (Buckethead)                  5.08
  3/  Ghost                                      (Buckethead)                  5.26
  4/  Hills of Eternity                          (Buckethead)                  5.04
  5/  Big Sur Moon                               (Buckethead)                  1.11
  6/  Machete                                    (Buckethead)                  6.15
  7/  Wishing Well                               (Buckethead)                  4.00
  8/  Lone Sal Bug                               (Buckethead)                  5.29
  9/  Sanctum                                    (Buckethead)                  3.39
  10/ Wondering                                  (Buckethead)                  2.13
  11/ Watching the Boats With My Dad             (Buckethead)                  5.04
  12/ Ghost/Part 2                               (Buckethead)                  2.29
  13/ Colma                                      (Buckethead)                  3.10

          Recorded at the Embalming Plant, Oakland, California
          Track 6 recorded at Orange Music, Orange, New Jersey
          Engineered and mixed by Xtrack
          Track 6 engineered and mixed by Robert Musso
          Produced by Buckethead and Xtrack
          Track 6 produced by Buckethead and Bill Laswell
          Executive Producers: Matt Marshall and Dan Selene
          Mastered at Turtle Tone Studio by Michael Fossenkemper
Buckethead : guitars, bass; Brain: drums, loops; Terry Untalen (8,10): violin, cello; DJ Disk (4,6,8): scratches; Bill Laswell (6): bass.

          1998 - CyberOctave (USA), COCD 2006 (CD)
          1998 - CyberOctave (USA), COCD 45380 (CD)
          1998 - CyberOctovae/Virgin (Europe), VHOCD 9/7243 8 45380 2 6 (CD)


While known mostly for his involvement in Bill Laswell's many projects, Buckethead is a mysterious masked man who can play scorching lead guitar work or, as he often does on this surprisingly enjoyable solo album, play somewhat acoustic. While there are moments where self indulgences are pondered, Buckethead tastefully sidesteps them and gives us something distinctly non Satriani/Holdsworth/Beck-like: a guitarist solo album that isn't about how wonderfully talented the guitarist is. Treading precariously towards the new age music this label usually releases, Buckethead pulls it off without totally wussing out. An interesting, if relatively minor, exception to the rules of Solo Guitarist Suckdom.

d.n.l. (courtesy of the Pop Culture Press website)


It's hard to know what to think about Buckethead--on one hand, he's clearly a skilled guitarist in his own right, on a par with wizardlike technicians like Reeves Gabrels (Bowie's right hand since the late 80's) and Steve Vai; on the other, his chosen method of self-promotion (always wearing a KFC chicken bucket on his head and a Michael Myers Halloween mask) is so transparently idiotic that one is tempted to dismiss him as just another in the line of wacky-for-money's-sake losers. The only plausible explanation I can arrive at is that Buckethead is of non-white racial background and didn't want reams of reviews by unenlightened critics proclaiming him the next Hendrix or James Blood Ulmer or Sonny Sharrock (or, alternately, the next hyperspeed flying fingers import from the Far East). Regardless, on album all that comes through is the music, not the shtick (always the Residents' great failing), and Colma contains little of the frenetic riffing for which Buckethead is renowned, instead focusing on a more sedate, introspective soloing style which would not be out of place on a Dire Straits record. Percussive backing is provided by replacement Primus drummer Brain and guest appearances are contributed by Bill Laswell, Invisible Scratch Pickles' DJ Disc, and a cellist/violist, but otherwise Buckethead's guitar and bass tracks dominate the proceedings. By the end of Colma one is convinced of Buckethead's fingering skills, but his compositions come across as little more than pleasant background music, ready perhaps to be layered behind a prime-time soap opera in a scene where the male romantic lead stares out across the Pacific Ocean and thinks about his lost loves; the album is a thoroughly professional product, but hardly essential or even particularly interesting art.

Aaron Poehler (courtesy of Aaron Poehler's Music Journalism Archives)


Fans of truly innovative guitar playing should be no stranger to the trailblazing sounds put forth by BUCKETHEAD, the six-foot (plus!) long-haired, guitarwielding robot. His lightning-fast guitar runs, tempo changes and just plain different ways of approaching the guitar have made him a favorite with guitar connoisseurs and media types alike. His work has been heard in such movies as "Mortal Combat" and "Last Action Hero," not to mention Sega Video game commercials.

However, on Colma, his third solo album (CyberOctave Records), he stretches out even further to create a captivating album of ambient, instrumental, guitar-based brilliance. Visually, he still wears the white mask (ĺ la Mike Myers in the film "Halloween") and yes, the fried chicken bucket is still perched on top of his head. But with the help of a few friends, including legendary producer/bass player BILL LASWELL (who produced and played bass on the track, "Machete"), BRAIN (of LIMBOMANIACS and PRIMUS fame), DJ DISC (SF's acclaimed turntablists, Invisible Scratch Pickilz, adding sound effects and general ambience), and TERRY UNTALAN (on cello and viola), BUCKETHEAD creates an album with an incredible mix of emotional depth and innovative technique.

He is best known for inhabiting a musical range that includes dub reggae, jungle, psyche funk, metal and drumless space on his own releases. He's also worked with groups like PRAXIS, GIANT ROBOT and DEATH CUBE K and in collaboration with BOOTSY COLLINS, BILL LASWELL, PHAROAH SANDERS, IGGY POP, JOHN ZORN, ANTON FIER, WILL ACKERMAN and TONY WILLIAMS. Colma showcases a much more introspective side of BUCKETHEAD.

Julie Freeman (courtesy of Lipservice Magazine’s website.)