Tone-Test: Analog Alien Bucket Seat
The Bucket Seat is the younger brother to their critically acclaimed Rumble Seat. While the Rumble Seat catered to rockabilly players offering Drive, Delay, and Reverb, the more compact Bucket Seat offers only Drive. The circuit is advertised as replicating a ’69 Marshall Plexi. As with the other pedals in the Alien Analog line, the Bucket Seat is hard to miss with its distinctive orange color and eye-catching decals.
Powered by a 9-Volt battery or adapter, it features three knobs allowing you to control Output, Tone, and Gain. Having the capability to dial in combinations of volume, EQ, and dirt, is as straightforward as it gets. The pedal was plugged directly into a ’65 Fender Deluxe Reverb, a Valvetech VAC 25, a Wangs 2204 50-watt head, and a few single coil and humbucker-equipped guitars. It was also compared against an actual ’69 Marshall Plexi.
The term “Marshall in a box” has been abused to the point of causing widespread civil unrest and involuntary harsh language. A late ‘60s Marshall Plexi has a very specific sound, and while the Bucket Seat sounds nothing like that, it has it’s own personality that will find favor with many guitarists.
If “fat, thick, and gritty” are adjectives that must be available within your arsenal, the Bucket Seat is the pedal for you. Billy Gibbons’ classic tone comes to mind. It yields a plethora of “fat, thick, and gritty” sounds while the Tone control beefs things up quite a bit on the bottom end, or sharpens your attack to cut through any mix. It can be dimed to be a pseudo fuzz, and is right at home within the ‘70s classic rock milieu. Think “Mississippi Queen,” “Rock Candy,” or “Tush.” It has a raw, buzzy, ill-mannered nastiness perfect for hyper-masculine garage-rock, but not so great if you desire the smooth lustrous sheen needed for championship shredding.
Tested thru various amplifiers it retains a gruff demeanor that leans towards the warmer side of the EQ spectrum. With the Gain maxed out it can rage, but it’s a little too gnarly for anything but the most boisterous Hendrix solos. The Analog Alien Bucket Seat could be a handy addition to your rig. It can add light truculence or barbaric menace from any amp it’s plugged into.