Guns N’ Roses, Brian “Buckethead” Carroll’s former group, took 17 years to deliver one record, while “Population Override” is one of nearly 50 slabs the KFC bucket-wearing guitarist has produced on his own.
No wonder he left GNR due to a lack of productivity.
Best known for his shredding as well as his distinct wardrobe choice, “Population Override” is a funky, jazzy guitar piece, an instrumental concept album about Earth’s overpopulation and its catastrophic consequences.
“Population” is a collaboration between Buckethead and keyboardist Travis Dickerson. Although Buckethead is the virtuoso of the two, Dickerson is given his chance to shine and helps focus his collaborator’s eccentricities.
Buckethead’s tasteful talents brighten “Too Many Humans,” using precision and a smooth tone to introduce a bluesy sauna.
The titles tell the tale of “Population Override” – Mother Nature gets revenge on humans in a cataclysmic event. After “Earth Heals Herself,” a bigger, better version of humans return. With blues reappearing in the closing ” … ,” recalling its appearance in “Too Many Humans,” Buckethead seems to suggest history is doomed to repeat itself.
“Population Override” falls short of revelatory, but as an introduction to Buckethead’s solo material, this seems like an uncharacteristically accessible place to start.
Our Music Year is Daily Republic popular culture writer Nick DeCicco’s yearlong online review in 2012 of albums he had previously not listened to. The reviews will appear in print on their corresponding days during 2013. Reach him at 427-6966 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ndeciccodr.