Exposé Online banner

The Aaron Clift Experiment — If All Goes Wrong
((Not on label) MUSI-00005, 2018, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2018-07-22

If All Goes Wrong Cover art

The third time is the charm, especially for Aaron Clift and his cohorts. I delayed gratification for three months to listen to their new album If All Goes Wrong as I worked through my review queue. And I am very pleased to say that the wait was worth it in every aspect! If All Goes Wrong has a less personal sound than the first two, with the music showing a mature band stretching their muscles and enjoying the music, plus presenting Aaron’s grittier side. Overall, the music is very different from Lonely Hills and Outer LIght, Inner Darkness. The album opens with “Faith,” a gritty metal prog song with strong gutsy guitar work. “Last Crash” is a harsh metal rock song with melodic vocal harmonies that go through many complex changes. Next is “Absent Lovers,” a beautiful bucolic pastorale complete with violin, viola, cello, and classical guitar reminiscent of Peter Gabriel, Genesis, and Steve Hackett compositions giving the song a 70s Euro Prog flavor, plus a sense of Shakespeare. Aaron then goes in a brand new direction with “Better off Before,” a British psych-pop music hall song, kind of a blend of Queen and The Beatles. Next is “Castle in the Sky” that offers up some more melodic metal prog and tempo shifts. Then, gaining confidence in their sound, is the dark and grungy “Savage in a Fancy Suit” recalling early Black Sabbath and morphing into a fantastic organ and guitar jam. The album just gets better as you move to “Dream within a Dream,” which is an original song, not a cover of Sprit's song from the 60s. Aaron’s song is a polished composition with a smooth, soaring guitar solo that links to their past work. Next is the arena rock “Wild Hunters” that should propel them to a much larger audience. When I finally reached the title track, I was blown away. The fantastic lush Mellotron intro had me on my knees and the song pays homage to Robert Fripp’s “In the Court of the Crimson King.” And the closing song “Back to the Water” is a bonus track that is an introspective ballad consisting solely of Aaron’s vocals and piano. If All Goes Wrong is certainly one of the best releases this year, and it makes their first two releases pale in comparison. Any fan of modern progressive rock should make every effort to track down a copy of If All Goes Wrong.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Aaron Clift

More info
http://www.aaronclift.com/product/if-all-goes-wrong

Latest news

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Renaissance - Novella & A Song for All Seasons – The history of Renaissance is much too convoluted to go into in a review, but it’s safe to say that these two albums were the end of the “classic” period of the “classic”...  (2002) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues