With a name like Colonel Claypool's Bucket of Bernie Brains, it is certain that whatever this band has up its sleeve, it's not a play-by-numbers attempt at mainstream popularity.

With a name like Colonel Claypool's Bucket of Bernie Brains, it is certain that whatever this band has up its sleeve, it's not a play-by-numbers attempt at mainstream popularity. (The group's moniker is the result of sticking each member's name in title.) On "The Big Eyeball in the Sky," Primus vocalist/bassist Les Claypool joins guitarist Buckethead, drummer Brian "Brain" Mantia and keyboardist Bernie Worrell for an odyssey that defies musical convention (and, in some lyrical cases, rational sense). Bringing together a bass icon like Claypool with two groove masters and an eccentric guitar guru has birthed a sound best described as '70s circus-funk. Witness "Buckethead," "Junior," "Jackalope" and "Scott Taylor," with their psychedelic swirls and sputtering funk. The political tones of the aforementioned "Junior" and "Ignorance Is Bliss" weigh in on the political climate: No Bush lovers here. And "Tyranny of the Hunt" deserves a spin for taking an absurd urban legend to an even more outrageous conclusion.—CLT

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print