Mark Stanley: Insect Warriors

Mark Stanley’s Insect Warriors (Sir Eel) is, on the surface, big on post-Buckethead concept-the album spins around a mutated-bugs-have-taken-over-a-future-Earth story-though it generally steers clear of the padded-cell territory Bucket claims as his personal domain, though even that’s not really tough: being less random than Buckethead is like being less conservative than Barry Goldwater. And it isn’t as if Stanley can’t lay down his own brand of dementia: check the oddball vibe of the disc-opening, Kool Keith-ish “Our Mission” and techno Trane workout “Giant Ants.” Through it all, Stanley, who is assisted by drum powerhouse Dennis Chambers, reminds you that this is his disc. The radiation-damaged blues “Worms” and the strutting “Smarty P-Ants” gives Stanley plenty of material to chew on, combining rock-shred instincts with harmonic fusion savvy.