This guy can play, but with the unusual twist of knowing what to do with his technique. Nice reworkings of songs, especially a trebled up rendition of Bach's "Jesus Joy of Man's Desire", where the rotating theme is insinuated between perfect barrages of notes and multi-tracked harmonies. Also, "Black Magic Woman" gets an adrenalized face-lift -the truth of the matter is that I'm as sick of Santana's version as I am of "Stairway to Heaven"--and he does a punchy reading of Dylan's judgment day blues "You Gotta Serve Somebody", recasting Mark Knopfler's recasting of Albert King in ways that maintains the searing , wailing ostinatos with the clipped rapid fire note clusters that bring Gary Moore to mind. He even does "Wipe Out" as if it were a jam to die for. Smarter than Steve Vai, a major player: refreshingly musical.
Monsters and Robots
I just popped Monsters and Robots out of the CD player, and the effect is exhilarating There's some kind of fractured genius going on here, with all the metal / fusion/ funk / bluegrass cross over the boundaries so easily, and Buckethead's super-velocity guitar work punching up the action in ways that are sonic and lethal. Wow. If Ornette Coleman were a shred guitarist, this is the full-kerang sonic scraping he’d give the world that braved an audience with him. Transmutation Live is a must have, based on this. There's a strong suggestion of Capt. Beefheart, with it's disconcerting sci-fi lyricscape and self-mythologizing, but this is the evidence that skilled pastiche is the dominant form at this point. Buckethead slices and dices the elements so well together that the channel-surfing dynamics make sense when the bits are linked, stitched and seared together with the speed-genius of the fret work.