Sound: A Buckethead led album, Giant Robot gives listeners a similar range of genres to Bucketheads later work. Shred guitar, ambient pieces, and funky basslines dominate the record. Some of the songs on this record are re-used by Buckethead in later records ('Jowls' and 'Scapula').
This self-titled escapade is the only album by Giant Robot, although Buckethead has collaborated with Brain on numerous other occasions. Perhaps it shows that Giant Robot was merely a forerunner to Buckethead's later works that it is far less engaging than later albums. There are a few good tracks, but the album is mostly overshadowed by bizarreness and oddity, as the tracks use various soundclips from obscure films and recordings. Most tracks don't seem to really 'flow', and the album doesn't seem to hold together as a single work, more a collection of individual tracks that don't blend or merge very well.
Technically, Buckethead and Brain impress as usual, but compared to later joint efforts, there is much less musical force, and more self-indulgent scalar runs and effect pedal abuse. // 6
Lyrics: A few soundclips from films (A Clockwork Orange, when Alex meets his old Droogs after leaving prison, for example), and the like. No lyrics during songs from any vocalist. Only pre-recorded samples. These samples don't merge with the music, as they have no interaction with songs. // 5
Overall Impression: Disappointly, it's just OK. There's nothing spectacular about this album. It's quite short, dull at times, and unlike later work, lacks direction and focus. This is a really harsh, critical line, but in my opnion, it's true.
On the upside, this early album cleared the path for Buckethead's solo career as an incredible musician, and his music has evidently improved leaps and bounds since his days in Giant Robot. On the downside, it in itself is no great work, and out of thirteen songs, only about four actually grasp my attention (Such as 'Chicken Boy', and 'Mrs. Beasley'.
It just doesn't feel like an album, and compared to the likes of Crime Scene Slunk, Giant Robot falls flat. A brave effort, and respectable as the early days of an extremely talented guitarist, but what is more respectable is that he has honed his songwriting skill and guitar technique beyond Giant Robot before his later material. The expertise demonstrated on this album couldn't be denied as impressive, but is ultimately rather repetitive. // 6