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THE ARISTOCRATS

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The Aristocrats biography
THE ARISTOCRATS is a heavy progressive rock collaboration between well-known musicians guitarist Guthie GOVAN, bassist Bryan BELLER, and drummer Marco MINNEMANN formed in 2010. The band had an unusual start, being the accidental bi-product of one of those virtuoso-happy NAMM collaboration shows, except GOVAN was a last minute replacement for fellow fusion legend Greg HOWE. BELLER and MINNEMANN were impressed by the material they had heard of GOVAN's, so they asked him if he wanted to play the NAMM show after HOWE had to drop out due to a last minute obligation. GOVAN obliged, and the roots of THE ARISTOCRATS were sown.
The three guys, comprised of an underground guitar hero, a well-known and respected clinician drummer, and a popular live and session bassist, were separated by a few thousand miles between London (GOVAN), Nashville (BELLER), and San Diego (MINNEMANN), yet the three still managed to pull off a 6-song set at NAMM, which got the three talking about the chemistry which they shared on and off stage.
It didn't take long for a band to form, and immediately after the first gig the three began to talk of more shows and eventually an album. As creativity began to flow and songs began to be written, it became clear the very interesting combination of styles in which the three musicians came from, ranging from jazz to death metal, would eventually come down to an interesting style of jazz-fusion oriented hard rock, taking plenty of influence from 70s giants such as RETURN TO FOREVER, MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA, KING CRIMSON, and UK to virtuoso musicians such as Steve VAI and Joe SATRIANI, to the experimental complexities of Frank ZAPPA and so much more. Eventually, however, the band finally took it all and put it into a single output - their debut self-titled album which was released mid-late 2011.


::::Andy Webb::::

In 2012, the band went on tour over the world, one of those shows was captured on DVD. In 2013, they released another album "Culture Clash" with a more aggressive sound. Then, another very long tour (109 dates)across US, Europe and Asia which was again documented on a live DVD, released in 2015. The band released in 2015 another album "Tres Caballeros" with a more mature sound while keeping their funny side.

Updated by rdtprog

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Aristocrats | Tres Caballeros | CDAristocrats | Tres Caballeros | CD
Boing! Music 2015
Audio CD$8.99
$8.41 (used)
Aristocrats | Tres Caballeros Deluxe | CD+DVDAristocrats | Tres Caballeros Deluxe | CD+DVD
Boing! Music 2015
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$20.34 (used)
Boing, We'll Do It Live!Boing, We'll Do It Live!
Boing! 2013
Audio CD$20.42
Aristocrats | Culture Clash [DELUXE EDITION]Aristocrats | Culture Clash [DELUXE EDITION]
BOING! 2013
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$10.99 (used)
Aristocrats | Culture Clash by Aristocrats (2013-07-30)Aristocrats | Culture Clash by Aristocrats (2013-07-30)
BOING!
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Secret Show: Live in OsakaSecret Show: Live in Osaka
Import
Imports 2015
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Aristocrats By Aristocrats (2012-03-26)Aristocrats By Aristocrats (2012-03-26)
Boing
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THE ARISTOCRATS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

THE ARISTOCRATS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.77 | 93 ratings
The Aristocrats
2011
3.82 | 97 ratings
Culture Clash
2013
3.75 | 63 ratings
Tres Caballeros
2015

THE ARISTOCRATS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.67 | 15 ratings
BOING, We'll Do It Live!
2012
3.64 | 11 ratings
Culture Clash Live!
2015
4.00 | 7 ratings
Secret Show: Live In Osaka
2015

THE ARISTOCRATS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

THE ARISTOCRATS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

THE ARISTOCRATS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

THE ARISTOCRATS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Tres Caballeros by ARISTOCRATS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.75 | 63 ratings

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Tres Caballeros
The Aristocrats Heavy Prog

Review by crashandridemusic

4 stars Consisting of guitarist Guthrie Govan (Steven Wilson), drummer Marco Minnemann (Steven Wilson), and bassist Bryan Beller (Joe Satriani), this jazz-fusion/progressive rock band consists of some of the most well-renowned musicians at their respective instruments. Their latest album 'Tres Caballeros' contains some of the finest instrumental music I've heard.

Containing nine total songs, each member of the band wrote three of the tracks to their particular style and taste. Because of the experimental nature to this album, one could expect the improvisational aspects of the album to be very off-putting and over-the-top. The album is indeed zany, but because of the musicianship, integrity, and finesse of its composers, 'Tres Caballeros' turns out to be one highly intelligent album. This album contains no moments of egotistical playing, or overblown and longwinded solos for their own sakes. The collaborative effort of the band results in well structured songs, showcasing each instrument equally. Even the rhythm sections are interesting enough to stand out as their own songs if desired. The production quality of this record also allows each instrument to be heard simultaneously, whether it is a softer section of 'Pig's Day Off,' or an incredibly wild chorus in 'ZZ Top.' I love the artistic balance of this album, equaling highlighting all three members of the band.

It's hard for me to listen to this album and not favor drummer Marco Minnemann, my personal favorite drummer. The man is a musical genius, and a highly skilled multi-instrumentalist. There are too many drool-generating and mind-numbing moments of drumming on 'Tres Caballeros' to count, but I especially love his performance on his own contribution 'Stupid 7.' The freestyle opening, the fills during rhythm sections, and time-signature changes exemplify why he is indeed my favorite drummer. Despite my adoration for him, I feel the others' performance are more memorable. The jazzy guitar style of Govan is amusing throughout the album. Contributing solos to every song on the album, Govan particularly shines in 'Jack's Back,' one of his own compositions in the album. Containing tremolo picking, the song contains that clich' Govan sound that is easily heard in his contributions to Steven Wilson albums. The song 'Pressure Relief' easily reminds me of jazz guitarist Charlie Hunter, with its clean sounding muted plucks, bending notes, and wah pedal. Being one of the softer songs on the album, I enjoy the change of pace, especially since I was so convinced the album would be an hour long of nonstop crescendos during my first listen. I noticed some songs on the album contained layered guitar underneath some of Govan's solos, a technique that is always difficult to recreate live, but nonetheless adds much needed texture to prevent the song from falling apart. I almost wish there were moments like this in the album, but am completely satisfied with the sheer technicality of Govan throughout.

With support of the unrivaled talent of Minnemann and Govan, bassist Beller shines on this album, and is surprisingly my favorite characteristic of 'Tres Caballeros.' As a matter of fact, my three favorite tracks on this album are all compositions written by Beller, being 'Texas Crazypants,' 'Smuggler's Corridor,' and 'Through the Flower.' From the track titles alone, the listener can predict the mentality and stage setting of the song. 'Texas Crazypants' has every feeling of a Dukes of Hazard-style chase scene, incorporating police sirens and complementing bluesy guitar, while 'Smuggler's Corridor' is very much a Mexican standoff in the making, with each member dancing their tango around each other. The album cover helps to visualize this song, with low-bit Nintendo-themed characters dancing around in the desert. I believe these three songs perfectly capture the tone meant for the track, oftentimes attempted and missed by instrumental bands. There are delicious bass lines throughout the album, highlighted ironically in some of the other member's contributions. Being the least known member of the band to me, I thoroughly enjoyed discovering and singling out Beller's bass guitar.

For an album consisting of three uber-talented musicians, 'Tres Caballeros' is far more accessible than many other high-caliber and intense musicians. With each listen, you can focus on a different instrument and have a completely different experience. So sit down and dive into this amazing instrumental album.

Taken from Crash And Ride Music

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 The Aristocrats by ARISTOCRATS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.77 | 93 ratings

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The Aristocrats
The Aristocrats Heavy Prog

Review by yair010390

3 stars Good album, but I think that it left much to desire. Mostly in all the songs, they show an excellent techinique, a beautiful performance, but thats it, nothing more. I mean, it is like if they have all the pieces but, at the end, doesn't match, to put the pieces together and start building something. In my opinion it is like if everyone was playing by herself and then they mix their sounds. Besides, in some moments appears to me like if they spend all their ideas in two or three songs, and the rest of them where only modifications of the first one's. Despite of all that, it is good to hear, to enjoy the talent all these three musicians have, and be delight with the differents sound they can make with their instruments.

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 Culture Clash by ARISTOCRATS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.82 | 97 ratings

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Culture Clash
The Aristocrats Heavy Prog

Review by Progrussia

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.

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 The Aristocrats by ARISTOCRATS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.77 | 93 ratings

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The Aristocrats
The Aristocrats Heavy Prog

Review by Memo_anathemo

3 stars When you hear the name Marco Minnemann, it is synonym of an excellent and passionate drummer. When you hear the name Guthrie Govan, it is synonym of an excellent and virtuoso guitar player. When you hear the name Bryan Beller, it is synomym of an excellent and accurate bass player. Put them together and guess what you obtain? Yes, the aristocracy of music. The Aristocrats have managed to assemble an excellent album full of fusion and long jams. The three of them show a mastery in performing their instruments. The album itself is good, even though the tracks are not memorable. That's why my rating of 3 stars. Do not forget that 3 stars in this page is quite a good grade, considering the great difficulty to reach the top and classic albums. Maybe I need to listen to the album a bit more to see if I can feel attached to it. However, it is really recommendable for your ears, an album you should never skip, especially having these masters involved.

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 The Aristocrats by ARISTOCRATS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.77 | 93 ratings

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The Aristocrats
The Aristocrats Heavy Prog

Review by VOTOMS

4 stars If the cat got their tongue, it does not care, Aristocats could play without any vocals, and they will catch your ear. Actually my personally favorite into instrumental heavy rock, The Aristocrasts is the heavy prog at its finest. Highly into jazz fusion and improvisation, this power trio includes Guthrie Govan at guitars, Brian Beller at bass, Marco Minnemann at drums.The performance of each one is very strong. Guthrie Govan is one of the best guitarists at this right moment, and the beautiful, creative riffs and harmonies at The Aristocrats makes me trip into my own mind. The bass and drums are powerful as a heavy prog should be. I can't highlight any track, since I love the whole album. The frist track is the weirdest, but it's actually pleasent for me. Every heavy prog, jazz fusion listener and musician must check this album.

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 The Aristocrats by ARISTOCRATS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.77 | 93 ratings

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The Aristocrats
The Aristocrats Heavy Prog

Review by Starhammer
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Freshly baked...

It's been six long years since Guthrie Govan released his debut album. With no solo activity since then and some disappointing collaborations with Asia and GPS I had almost given up hope on this phenomenal guitarist.

But then along came The Aristocrats, a three-piece instrumental outfit consisting of Govan, Bryan Beller on bass, and Marco Minnemann on the drums. The band was formed after a single performance at The NAMM Show lead to more gigs, and ultimately this debut record, which features three tracks from each member

Despite being entirely instrumental and containing elements of jazz rock, 'The Aristocrats' is not 'Erotic Cake Part 2'. The sound is quite different, it seems to be more focussed. In terms of guitar, there is not such as broad spectrum of styles, but it remains creative and engaging throughout. That's not to say that it's completely tied down though, I am reminded of Jeff Beck or Trey Anastasio at times, whilst the slower paced Flatlands has an Eric Johnson vibe to it.

Guthrie Govan has a reputation for his fast playing, and whilst there are moments of shredding on 'The Aristocrats', they come in tasteful, short bursts. But that's enough of Govan, I make it sound like the other two are his backup band! Far from it, Bryan Beller is an outstanding bassist who has played with the likes of Mike Kenneally and Steve Vai, whilst Marco Minnemann was about two hairs away from joining Dream Theater. Individually, they sit amongst the best musicians around, but its what they achieve together which is so important here.

The chemistry is just incredible, simple riffs lay the foundation for cohesive improvisation. At times busy, but never claustrophobic. Killer hooks aplenty, but not immediately accessible. The sparse interplay on tracks like I Want a Parrot is absolutely captivating, this is not something you can stick on in the background and hope to appreciate, it really demands attention.

The Verdict: An extremely fun, slightly challenging album that evolves with every listen.

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 The Aristocrats by ARISTOCRATS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.77 | 93 ratings

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The Aristocrats
The Aristocrats Heavy Prog

Review by Epignosis
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

3 stars The Aristocrats is a heavy rock and jazz fusion power trio from around the world. The music here tends toward playful fun but incoherence. This is a series of lengthy albeit sophisticated jams full of incredible technical proficiency but lacking any memorability.

"Boing!. I'm in the Back" Distorted guitar and an odd rhythm adopt a quirky drive in this opener. Eventually, it boasts a bit of progressive surf rock. I appreciate the softer side the band takes on during the middle passage.

"Sweaty Knockers" Interesting title aside, the music here switches from aggressive rock to smooth jazz in a matter of mere moments. The guitarist gyrates through heavy metal shredding and country rock twang.

"Bad Asteroid" Velvety guitar begins this calmer venture. It's rather similar to "Walking the Plank" by Celtic rockers Bad Haggis.

"Get it Like That" This fourth piece stays in that laidback jazzy mode, but there's more of an urgency about this one.

"Furtive Jack" The band offers a degree of variety on this Caribbean-inspired excursion. It blends silky jazz with grittier leads. There's an excellent bass solo to be found here.

"I Want a Parrot" Slow and swinging, I find this lengthy tune to be somewhat similar to material from David Gilmour's On an Island. There's plenty of screaming guitar and grooving bass here to go around. The judicious drummer does an incredible job giving the music precisely what it needs, even if it means sitting it out for a bit.

"See You Next Tuesday" Initially of an avant-jazz-rock piece, this one tends to be harder to follow until it settles into a heavy groove upon which the guitarist has a field day.

"Blues Fuckers" This unfortunately titled piece is just all over the place and is only really bluesy in the beginning and the end.

"Flatlands" The final piece is clean, slow-paced blues that is reminiscent of some of Eric Johnson's smoother work- a placid ending to an otherwise frenetic album.

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 The Aristocrats by ARISTOCRATS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.77 | 93 ratings

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The Aristocrats
The Aristocrats Heavy Prog

Review by talha

4 stars I'm a fanboy of Guthrie Govan. I think he is one of the best guitarists of our century, maybe the best. His melodies are so strong that you can't call him a shredder. On this album, he shows us that he can play like a true jazz guitarist. He's also so good at rock, blues and even metal. So he gets the music on a crazy mood by a rock riff of his kind sometimes, or just shredding like hell. But his control over melodies and notes makes you love his shredding. So yes, Guthrie Govan is a guitarist with every good quality that I can think off. He's hardworking, loving the music itself, and so talented. On this album, you can experience everything that I just wrote. He's got even better since his solo album "Erotic Cakes" of 2006.

Marco Minnemann is an amazing drummer. I didn't know that he's so good at jazz drumming, but he is. And he also contributes highly to the harder sound of the album, where the music goes rock/metal from jazz. Bryan Beller is also great. His melodies sound unique, and work so well with the sound of the album.

With all this great players, one don't expect a synergy like this. But these three talented men are made for each other! They love and dream the same music. They put out an incredible piece of jazz/rock fusion. Highly recommended.

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Thanks to nightfly for the artist addition.

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