|MONSTERS AND ROBOTS--|
I just popped Monsters and Robots out of the CD player, and the effect is exhilarating. There's 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-kerrang sonic scraping he’d give the world that braved an audience with him. Transmutation Live is a must have, based on this. It's as if someone put your head against a wall and then slammed it with big red brick. There's a strong suggestion of Capt. Beefheart, with its disconcerting sci-fi lyric -scape and self-mythologizing, but this is the evidence that skilled pastiche is the dominant form .A mixed and borrowed bag of tricks it may well be, but the unrelenting virtuosity , the unchained fury the musician brings to bear on this difficult assortment of styles rises Monsters and Robots the assortment of merely agile eclecticism that too often passes as music worth a dozen relistens. 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.