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The Aristocrats - Culture Clash CD (album) cover


The Aristocrats

Heavy Prog

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4 stars I guess the only reason this project between three very capable session musicians are in the heavy prog category is because they use an electric guitar instead of, say, a trumpet, and have long hair. Otherwise, this is solid if not spectacular instrumental jazz rock. Somehow it sounds exactly as I expected it to sound - at times more jazzy, at times more funky or bluesy. A basic guitar-bass-drums format, all instruments are on equal footing and share the stage equally. This being what it is, don't expect much structure, but neither did I detect any showboating for the sake of showboating. In fact, I would make the case for it being too accessible for us proggers.
Report this review (#1086550)
Posted Saturday, December 7, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars For me, this release took time to sink in because there is so much going on. Not just shredding but dynamics and melody that gives your brain a workout. Then it clicked - holy crap this is an incredible collaboration of sonic nirvana! Every song on "Culture Clash" is killer and has its own personality. Whether rock, fusion, techno, rockabilly, or prog-metal, these tunes are clever and well thought out with arrangements to die for. The disc clocks in just over 57 minutes, all instrumental, and each band mate wrote three songs. You can get lost in these songs and shouldn't focus too long on one instrument because the sum is better than its parts. The songwriting is bolder and more aggressive than their debut release and the interplay between musicians is so tight and flawless it will leave your jaw on the floor. This is one of a few instrumental discs I can listen to over and over without it getting old.

The Deluxe Edition includes a 33 minute "making of" DVD documentary with interviews and studio footage. The good news from this footage is the band gets along and no egos dominate, so fans may see more tours and albums down the road. In the documentary Bryan, Marco and Guthrie describe their different production and writing styles. You will find out the inspiration for Marco's tune "Ohhhh Noooo", and learn how to make Bryan's favorite cocktail. I also noticed how humble and down to earth these guys are.

This is a high quality total package. Great tunes, musicianship, engineering, documentary, and artwork that every music fan should own.

Report this review (#2236373)
Posted Tuesday, July 9, 2019 | Review Permalink

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