The Aristocrats — Tres Caballeros
(Boing! Music LLC BM-00008, 2015, CD+DVD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2015-08-12
In the spirit of highly energized virtuosic instrumental rock started long ago by The Ventures, taken to the next level by bands like Dixie Dregs and Steve Morse Band, and carried on to this day by bands like The Aristocrats, out there on tour now with like minded travellers the Travis Larson Band, we have nine new compositions – three from each of the band’s members, each a stellar showcase of chops and band cohesion that most musicians can only dream of. Guitarist Guthrie Govan is an amazing player that has a knack for great melodic hooks as well as shredding and speed, while bassist Bryan Beller and drummer (and occasional keyboardist) Marco Minnemann deliver the goods with equivalent mastery. Compared to their previous studio outing Culture Clash from 2013, this latest effort may be slightly more varied in scope and style, with more emphasis on dynamic diversity within the overall scope of what they set out to accomplish – and thoroughly succeed in presenting. Tracks like “Pig’s Day Off” and “Stupid 7” set out with some fairly complex rhythmic ambitions that stretch the imagination, while other tunes like “Smuggler’s Corridor,” “The Kentucky Meat Shower,” and “Texas Crazypants” evoke a bit more feeling and diverse stylistic aspirations. The more one listens to these nine cuts, the more familiarity opens the door to new elements as the layers are peeled back and more of the writers’ compositional and collective arranging skills are revealed. A companion DVD is included, which includes a discussion between the band members, some live-in-the-studio performances with background information on every track, as well as a number of alternate takes and demo versions of most of the album’s nine pieces.
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more