0025. Buckethead & Friends – Enter The Chicken [2005]

Buckethead-Enterthechicken

You probably have no idea who Buckethead is.  Well, let me school ya: He’s a phenomenal guitar virtuoso who wears a blank face mask and a chicken wing bucket on his head.  He’s a weirdo, and I fuckin’ love him for it.  This album was released through Serj Tankian’s record label “Serjical Strike,” thus it features a number of profoundly talented guest vocalists from said label, including Serj himself.

Particularly notable tracks are Three Fingers, Coma, Waiting Hare, Funbus, The Hand & Nottingham Lace.  Seriously, I just pointed out more than half the tracks on the damn album.  That’s how good this is.  Come to think of it, some of you might recognize Buckethead’s music from Jordan which was on Guitar Hero II.  Fuckin’ impossible to pass on Expert, but tremendous song nonetheless.  Nottingham Lace would be pretty fuckin’ impossible to pass on Guitar Hero and/or Rock Band.

Anyway, if you can appreciate the bizarre, guitar virtuosity, beautiful vocals and thought-provoking lyrics, then you’ll dig this album.

Wikipedia Says:

Enter the Chicken is the fourteenth studio album by musician Buckethead. The album was released on October 25, 2005 by Serj Tankian‘s label Serjical Strike.[1] It has 11 songs, two of which are less than twenty seconds long. It contains appearances from such artists as Saul WilliamsMaximum BobEfrem Schulz and Serj Tankian.

The album includes the song “We Are One“, which is one of the few music videos he has ever made. The song also appears on the horror series soundtrack Masters of Horror and also in one episode. “Three Fingers” also appears on the soundtrack of the horror movie Saw II. The last song from the album, the instrumental piece “Nottingham Lace” (previously released on Buckethead’s official website) closes the album, and is one of Buckethead’s most popular pieces,[2] often played in concerts along with “Jordan” known from the game Guitar Hero II and “Soothsayer (Dedicated to Aunt Suzie)” from the album Crime Slunk Scene.

Buckethead promoted the album release with his “Disney World to Disney Land Tour” in October and November 2005.[3]

A re-issue of this album was released in April 2008 with an additional song called “Shen Chi”.[4] The bonus track refers to a type of energy in Feng Shui.[5][6]

The track “Waiting Hare” is often mislabeled as “Waiting Here”, even though the lyrics to the song clearly say “waiting here”.

Concept

According to Buckethead, Serj Tankian came up with the concept of different guest vocalists and friends, which is the central theme of the album. Hence the name “Buckethead and Friends”

Artwork and booklet

Artwork for the album was done by long-time Buckethead collaborateur Bryan Theiss (aka Frankenseuss). The cover of the reissue is identical to the original, save for some colour changes. The booklet of the reissue of the album contained several mistakes and errors. In the liner notes for almost all the songs, except the first page, the dash that separated the title of the song from its length is either replaced with a rectangle, a character usually representing a character that could not be recognized by the computer in a document, or is altogether missing. Also, the notes are crooked on its back. Notes for the song “The Hand” reveal Maximum Bob’s real name to be “Robert Barnum”, making this the only release to date (as of February 2009) that uses his real name.

Reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars [7]
JIVE Magazine 4/5 stars [8]
PopMatters 6/10 stars [9]
411mania 7/10 stars [10]
Wilson & Alroy 3.5/5 stars [11]

The participation of Serj Tankian as well as many other high profile musicians caused a bigger media echo than usual Buckethead solo releases would do.[12][13]

The Washington Post called the album “an entertaining disc that dabbles in genres ranging from romantic pop to extreme metal” and stated, “The shredder/space alien proves there’s more behind the mask than just a quick pick and a side of slaw.”[14]

The Washington Post wrote about “street poet” Saul Williams: “[He] confidently counterbalances Hendrixian distortion on [the song].”[14] JIVE Magazine named “We Are One” and “Three Fingers” as being highlights of the album.[8]

Michael Melchor of 411mania stated: “The hip-hop comes into play on ‘Three Fingers’ and what sounds […] suspiciously like street poetry by Saul Williams before Buckethead turns up the funk and groove.”[15]

Track listing

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “Intro” Buckethead, Dan Monti 0:15
2. “We Are One” (featuring Serj Tankian) Buckethead, Monti, Serj Tankian 4:01
3. “Botnus” (featuring Efrem Schulz) Buckethead, Monti, Efrem Schulz 3:24
4. “Three Fingers” (featuring Saul Williams) Buckethead, Monti, Saul Williams 2:58
5. “Running from the Light” (featuring Gigi and Maura Davis) Buckethead, Monti, Ejigayehu ‘Gigi’ Shibabaw, Maura Davis 4:42
6. “Coma” (featuring Azam Ali and Serj Tankian) Buckethead, Monti, Azam Ali, Tankian 5:38
7. “Waiting Hare” (featuring Shana Halligan and Serj Tankian) Buckethead, Monti, Tankian 5:43
8. “Interlude” (performed by Donald Conviser) Buckethead, Monti 0:18
9. “Funbus” (featuring Dirk Rogers and Keith Aazami) Buckethead, Monti, Dirk Rogers, Keith Aazami 3:25
10. “The Hand” (featuring Maximum Bob and Ani Maldjian) Buckethead, Monti, Maximum Bob, Ani Maldjian 4:24
11. “Nottingham Lace” Buckethead, Monti 6:33
12. “Shen Chi” (2008 reissue track) Buckethead, Monti 2:47
Total length:
41:25/44:13

Personnel

  • Tracks #1-7, 9-11 Recorded at John Merrick Recorder
  • Track #8 Recorded at the Serjical Strike Dungeons
  • Vocals for Tracks #1-4, 6-10 Recorded at the Serjical Strike Dungeons
  • Produced by Serj Tankian
  • EngineeredMixed and Co-Produced by Dan Monti
  • Mixed at the Binge Factory
  • Vocal Engineering on Track #5 by Bill Laswell, Cam Dinunzio
  • Additional Programming by Dan Monti
  • Mastered by Paul Miner at Buzzbomb Studios
  • A&R Coordinating by Serj Tankian and George Tonikian
  • Art Direction by Bryan Theiss @ Frankenseuss Laboratories
  • Buckethead’s Legal Representation: Stan Diamond Esq., Diamond and Wilson

We Are One

“We Are One”
Song by Buckethead from the album Enter the Chicken
Released October 2005
Recorded John Merrick Recorder
Serjical Strike Dungeons
Genre Experimental metalalternative metal
Length 4:01
Label Serjical Strike
Writer BucketheadDan MontiSerj Tankian
Producer Serj Tankian, Dan Monti
Enter the Chicken track listing
“Intro”
(1)
We Are One
(2)
Botnus
(3)

We Are One” was chosen to promote Enter the Chicken and thus was released as a video single.[16]

The song features vocals by System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian who also produced the album.[17]

Music video

The “creature” performing taxidermy on Buckethead in the song’s promotional video clip.

The music video tells the story of Buckethead paying a man called “Marquis” (played by Serj Tankian) to bring him killed animals.[18]Buckethead uses the animals to perform taxidermy on them (a real life hobby of the guitarist).[19] Several animals appear, with flashbacks showing shortly how they died. Buckethead combines parts of all the animals together to create a new animal, which then immediately attacks Buckethead. The video has comparisons to the Frankenstein tale in that, Buckethead creates a monster, by bringing his creature to life by electrocuting it. The video then focuses on the fight of Buckethead to survive the attacks but the creation manages to kill his creator. The monster then drags Buckethead to the resurrection table, and zaps him back into being, however when he is brought back to life he discovers that his being had performed taxidermy on him, cutting off his arms and legs and replacing them with animal parts, the creature killing the maker and then bringing him back as a monster in its own right, has many layers of meaning and connotation.

Usage in Masters of Horror

The song appeared on the soundtrack of the horror series Masters of Horror[20][21] and was also used in the episode Dance of the Deadof the award winning series, when main character Peggy arrives at the town of Muskeet with his friends.

Reception

The Washington Post described “We Are One” as one of the standout tracks of the album, being “concisely spastic, metallic and reminiscent of Tankian’s Armenian-influenced headbanger band, System of a Down.”[14] Other reviewers also compared the song to the singer’s former work with System Of A Down,[22] namely with songs from Toxicity.[15] JIVE Magazine named “We Are One” and “Three Fingers” as being highlights of the album.[8]

The clip gained airplay on several music related television stations.

Personnel

Botnus

“Botnus”
Song by Buckethead from the album Enter the Chicken
Released October 25, 2005
Recorded John Merrick Recorder
Serjical Strike Dungeons
Genre Groove metalexperimental metalmetalcore
Length 3:24
Label Serjical Strike
Writer BucketheadDan MontiEfrem Schulz
Producer Serj TankianDan Monti
Enter the Chicken track listing
We Are One
(2)
Botnus
(3)
Three Fingers
(4)

Botnus” was inspired by the evil character Dr. Botanus on Giant Robot, a Japanese television show that heavily influenced Buckethead’s work.[23]

The original name for the song was “Dungeon Stilt”. A demo version of this song appears on the DVD Secret Recipe.

Reception

The song has been described as “storm[ing] out of the gates with hellish fury letting up for only a few bars to allow the listener a quick breath”[24] and being about “a creature that features the voice of Death By Stereo participant Efrem SchulzBotnus may scare younger visitors, as it is very aggressive when disturbed.”[25]

The Washington Post called Buckethead’s guitar work on the song as “lickety-split riffing and soloing,”[14] backed up by 411mania, writing that “[t]he metal influences are in full force as Buckethead supplies the blistering rhythm for Shulz [sic] then inserts a grand, soaring solo into the song while he’s at it.”[15]

Three Fingers

“Three Fingers”
Song by Buckethead from the album Enter the Chicken
Released October 25, 2005
Recorded John Merrick Recorder
Serjical Strike Dungeons
Genre Alternative rocktrip hopfunk rock
Length 2:58
Label Serjical Strike
Writer BucketheadDan MontiSaul Williams
Composer Buckethead, Saul Williams
Producer Serj TankianDan Monti
Enter the Chicken track listing
Botnus
(3)
Three Fingers
(4)
“Running from the Light”
(5)
from the album Saw II
Length 3:00
Label Treadstone Records
“Holy”
(10)
“Three Fingers”
(11)
“Home Invasion Robbery”
(12)

Three Fingers” features vocals by Saul Williams who was invited to perform on the track by producer Serj Tankian. As with the rest of the album’s vocalists, Williams recorded his part separately from Buckethead’s work, and the two never met during the process.[12] The song was also included on the soundtrack of the horror film Saw II.[26]

When asked about the song, Buckethead responded: “Every day is like a strange movie for me.”[27]

Nottingham Lace

“Nottingham Lace”
Song by Buckethead from the album Enter the Chicken
Released October 25, 2005
Recorded John Merrick Recorder
Serjical Strike Dungeons
Genre Alternative metalfunk metalexperimental metal
Length 6:33
Label Serjical Strike
Writer BucketheadDan Monti
Producer Serj TankianDan Monti
Enter the Chicken track listing
“The Hand”
(10)
Nottingham Lace
(11)

Nottingham Lace” is the last track on the album and one of Buckethead’s most popular songs. It is very frequently played live and is usually the last track at Buckethead concerts, as well as on the Secret Recipe DVD’s Boston concert.

“Nottingham Lace’s” name comes from one of the most high quality laces in the whole world.

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