Sunday, 6 June 2010

What's This?! A Review of In Search of The...?!

Yes, here it is. If you read this regularly or remember when I said I was going to review In Search of The... properly back in August last year, you'll find that I never got round to it.
Well guess what? I done a review of sorts. Clap your eyeballs on this juicy review, Motherlickers!

In Search of The... was a set I really, really wanted. I thought that the idea of 13 original CDs in a set was amazing and entirely original, not to mention quite a task to listen to it all (which it still is). However, most of the time before buying a CD (or in this case, 13) I like to listen to it on YouTube/Spotify/Grooveshark and decide whether it's worth getting, especially since I don't have too much money to begin with anyway, making Buyer's Remorse seem that much more bitter to me. Unfortunately, this set has very little representation on YouTube and none at all on the other places I check, so I had to buy this set, for around £70, based on about 5-10 tracks out of ninety-something. So it's a bit of a stab in the dark.

I got it, put Disc 1 into my player, and heard what sounded like an electric horse being cattle-prodded. I thought for a second, bearing in mind the first track is 59 seconds long, and thought to myself: "Oh no... What have I done?"
I pushed this thought to the back of my head, and tried to find consolation in spending $115 on a few CD-Rs in paper cases with nothing but photocopied stickers on the covers.
As a few days passed, I half-listened to each disc in order while doing other stuff. I finally got to the end of Disc 13 and that awful feeling of "Oh no..." came back. During this first listen, there had been some 'standout' tracks that I had noticed as being almost unbearable, where I skipped the track altogether, notably the dangerously similar 7.4 and 11.2, and various other tracks I would personally label as 'sub-filler' standard.

However, I imported them into my computer, and began listening to them in no particular order on my iPod, desperate to find something to console me for what I had heard already. It was around then when I discovered that there really are some good tracks on here, which I would not be surprised to find on a regular album. These include 1.2, 2.5, 3.3, 4.6, 5.1, 5.8, 6.3 and 8.1 as what I would call the 'gems' of the set (Real Diamonds in the Rough you could say... Har-har!). After 8.1, it all seemed to get a bit too odd for me, with sometimes things which sound like a drum kit sneezing and a guitar having an epileptic fit.

Now, about 8 months later, I can listen to a lot of the ones I previously labelled as 'sub-filler' standard. Instead of melting into a large block of similar sounding noise, I can now see that each disc may have been intended to have a unique sound, gradually getting more unhinged as the discs count up.
Despite my somewhat delayed appreciation of the set, there are still up to 15 tracks which I still find absolutely dreadful, and those are the ones which I remembered from my first listen.
ISOT, to me, is a set which I think I will only like more as time goes on and I listen to more tracks individually rather than as a set. I think Disc 5 is the best of the lot, so if you want to buy them individually, get that one first.

There's not much more I can say about it. Almost every track features a strange guitar effect which I can only relate with a smooth-jazz effect, somewhere between a fully clean sound and something which is too loud for a tape recorder to pick up properly, causing slight 'blurring of the edges' of the sound.

I'll end this rather long review by saying that if you have $100 and want to buy a slice of what Buckethead is as a musician, buy this set. It ranges from the gentler, almost Colma themed songs to the mindless, atonal messiness of early Buckethead relea
ses, and has almost everything in between.

As Buckethead once (not so) famously said: Music to me may not be music to most. I think he's proven that here with a pretty inaccessible album if someone is new to him. If someone who's first time listening to Buckethead was some of that 'sub-filler' stuff, I wouldn't blame them for thinking this is music for the deaf and/or insane, but if you're persistent and you take the time to scour the depths of this set you can find some real gems.

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