Exposé Online banner

The Aristocrats — Culture Clash
(Boing! Music LLC , 2013, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2013-07-14

Culture Clash Cover artWhat more can one say regarding one of the most seriously talented three-piece bands playing today? Two thirds of the group is still out on the road cavorting with Joe Satriani while guitarist Guthrie Govan continues his ace-in-the-hole role for the European leg of Steven Wilson’s The Raven Who Refused to Sing his tour. In January of this year the trio tracked pieces for a new album with a high penchant for democracy and telepathy. At times the group has embraced a classic Steve Morse band approach to song writing, with strong riffs coming either from bass or lead guitar. This approach is evident on the title track, one of three songs written by clinician Marco Minnemann. Across the disc, Govan has all the swagger of your Steve Vai but none of evasive attitude which can make a guitar god’s licks fatiguing or hopelessly frustrating. There is also a strong sense of Eric Johnson’s melodic influence on quite a few tracks as heard on the title track as well as Mike Keneally-esque sensibilities (clearly guilt by association of course!). You can tell bassist Bryan Beller’s compositions due to the emphasis on heavy groove and a relentless bass line. I mean the man struts his chops with finesse and precision across the disc making it a joy to listen to the underside. Also it helps when your drummer can play guitar too, which helps in the composition department as heard on “Desert Tornado.” On this track, Marco has been clearly considering what his guitarist would do with a part conceived one way but played another. Beller’s “Louisville Stomp” takes us into roller coaster rockabilly hell, making me consider what Chris Spedding or Brian Setzer would do given a crazy ass phrase like this! The trio has definitely moved forward from their first set of recordings. By firming up their band identity they give the Dixie Dregs a run for their money, but without benefit of a southern rock or Mahavishnu reference. Let’s face it: these guys got serious training, chops and natural chemistry that makes your ears bleed with all the finesse playing.

Filed under: New releases, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): Marco Minnemann, The Aristocrats

More info
http://the-aristocrats-band.com

Latest news

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Solstice - Spirit – One of the bright spots of 2010 was the return of Solstice. It's been 13 years since their last studio effort, Circles, and I was beginning to wonder if they'd ever return. Other than Andy Glass'...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues