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The Aaron Clift Experiment biography
Founded in Austin, USA in 2012

The Aaron Clift Experiment is a dynamic progressive rock band based in Austin, Texas. The band's multi-faceted sound blends influences from classic rock (Rush, Pink Floyd, King Crimson), modern rock (Porcupine Tree, Opeth), jazz, and classical - all anchored by a dedication to high-quality songwriting and musicianship. Progradar has described the group as "one of the most impressive progressive acts currently on the scene."

Formed in 2012 as the solo project of Aaron Clift, the band has since blossomed into a powerful live group enriched by the extensive musical background of its members. The soaring vocals of classically-trained singer and keyboardist, Aaron Clift, are grounded by the powerhouse guitar of Anthony Basini and rhythm section of Clif Warren (bass) and Pablo Ranlett-López (drums).

In the last few years, the band has carved out a significant worldwide following. The Aaron Clift Experiment's last album, 2018's "If All Goes Wrong," was a critically-acclaimed progressive rock achievement, landing on several year-end best album lists. In 2017, the band had a star-making performance at RosFest, one of the largest progressive rock festivals in the world, and followed it up with an impressive outing at 2018 at Chicago's Progtoberfest, and in 2019 with a hometown concert that was recorded for the band's second live EP, "Live at One-2-One Bar."

The Aaron Clift Experiment continues to move its dynamic sound forward in its latest release, "The Age of Misinformation" - a conceptual work about the destructive power of lies and the search for truth in the face of overwhelming odds.

Band founder, Aaron Clift, explains: "During the COVID lockdown of 2020 - 2021, my friends, colleagues, and country went through an incredibly challenging time, and I knew that I had to say something about it. 'The Age of Misinformation' is The Aaron Clift Experiment's document of that era."

In addition to its lyrical ambition and emotional resonance, the album marks a high point for the band's creativity - featuring everything from explosive, hard rocking songs, to gorgeous ballads, to multi-layered vocal writing that would make Queen blush! Two songs explore symphonic music with a guest string quartet, and the album's lead single, "Bet on Zero," is an epic big band jazz/blues fusion collaboration with 7-piece Austin horn ensemble, Big Wy's Brass Band.

Aaron notes: "For 'The Age of Misinformatio...
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THE AARON CLIFT EXPERIMENT top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.64 | 14 ratings
Lonely Hills
3.33 | 17 ratings
Outer Light, Inner Darkness
3.18 | 14 ratings
If All Goes Wrong
3.68 | 10 ratings
The Age of Misinformation

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


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

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


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Age of Misinformation by CLIFT EXPERIMENT, THE AARON album cover Studio Album, 2023
3.68 | 10 ratings

The Age of Misinformation
The Aaron Clift Experiment Crossover Prog

Review by Steve Conrad

4 stars "What IS truth?" retorted Pilate.

Lies and Damn Lies

Here's the fourth full album from Texan crossover progressive rock (currently) quartet THE AARON CLIFT EXPERIMENT, a mature, intelligent release showing a wide scope, yet with clear focus.

It seemed to me that Aaron, the founder and creative spark in this outfit, has here surrounded himself with an exceptionally gifted core of musicians, and then reached out to a gaggle of stringed and brass musicians to add further dimensions to his writing.

The Zeitgeist- Deliberate Deception

For me, the focus of the album- whether addressing the social dimensions, like in the title track, or the intensely personal parameters drawn in the closing "Weight of the World"- lies in the enormous and burdensome costs of trying to sort through layers and strata of vile, vicious, and destructive untruths, lies, deceptions- misinformation.

The instrumentation and the music then are used to paint pictures- vivid, varied, and vibrant, with lyrics that suggest, snarl, plead, and long for truth.

Mature Compositions

I earlier used this descriptor, since throughout, Aaron and company use vocal harmonies and melodies, give-and-take like on "L.I.A.R", instrumentation that shows willingness to work together- whether the (perhaps mixed too far back) excellent rhythm section of Cliff Warren's wandering and precise bass lines along with Pablo Ranlett-López's crisp and colorful drumming and percussion- note the fretless bass lines and (perhaps too) extended drum work on "Bet on Zero"- one of the album's highlights for me.

Guitar work by Anthony Basini was also excellent, and sometimes more restrained than I'd have liked. He used some gutsy rhythm guitar chords and often fairly laid-back, liquid lead guitar tones, with some intricate, delicate riffing and some nice give-and-take with Aaron's synth on "Rise".

Aaron's keyboards too were outstanding, and more restrained than I wanted at times. When he lets loose, like on the chiming Hammond sounds on "Rise", it really shines. I thought he tended to use keyboards for color and texture and depth for the most part. And I loved the choral textures on "The Color of Flight".

Wide Scope

Here I was drawn to the heavy and dark tones of "Dark Secrets", or the vibrant heavy-progressive sounds of the title track, or the wistful, meditative "The Color of Flight", or the almost Latin feel of that same track, with acoustic instrumentation that for me suggested a promising direction for this outfit to further explore in future recordings.


Lyrics too dealt with misinformation in wide scope. Having worked in the addictions field, for instance, I found "Bet on Zero" to be a thoughtful and imaginative approach to gambling obsessions. "Málaga" drew internal pictures for me of a sparkling modern city- with centuries upon centuries of history, and asking a question I thought was present throughout this album, "What is truth?" Is it the surface of things? What lies beneath? How does one decide?

Some Closing Thoughts

THE AARON CLIFT EXPERIMENT has presented an "excellent addition to any progressive rock music collection", showing musical and lyrical depth and maturity, capturing the zeitgeist- at least in my opinion- and the costs we pay socially and individually.

I'd like to see this band push itself into more developed and elaborated pieces, and to let loose some of the restraint I sensed here. I like Aaron's voice and it's adequate for the tasks- but I think a dedicated high-quality vocalist could add a much needed sense of drama and power to these fine compositions.

My Rating- 4 sparkling stars

 If All Goes Wrong by CLIFT EXPERIMENT, THE AARON album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.18 | 14 ratings

If All Goes Wrong
The Aaron Clift Experiment Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars US band THE AARON CLIFT EXPERIMENT has been a going venture ever since 2012, mainly revolving around the talents of main man Aaron Clift, with an ever growing cast of guest musicians and more or less permanent band members getting some history with the band. "If All Goes Wrong" is their third album, and was self-released in 2018.

The Aaron Clift Experiment as of 2018 comes across as something or a rough diamond as far as progressive rock is concerned. They play around with boundaries, borders and expectations a bit, without loosing track of the progressive rock playing field as such. It isn't what I'd describe as the finished article though, but it documents the skills and efforts of a band with the potential to become just that. A band to place on the watch list, and an album recommended to those who find great joy in encountering bands of this general nature.

 Outer Light, Inner Darkness by CLIFT EXPERIMENT, THE AARON album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.33 | 17 ratings

Outer Light, Inner Darkness
The Aaron Clift Experiment Crossover Prog

Review by Angelo
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

3 stars Aaron Clift is the central figure to The Aaron Clift Experiment, being the vocalist, keyboardist and main composer of the band's music. Together with Eric Gutierrez (guitar), Devin North (bass) and Joe Resnick (drums) he's been active since 2012 to make this project work.

As their main influences, the band claim acts like Genesis,Dream Theater and King's X, but also classical composer Johann Sebastian Bach and jazz legend John Coltrane.

On this album the opening track Kissed by Death and Aoide, Goddess of Song stand out, while The Last Oasis is my favourite.

Kissed by Death is a varied piece, starting with an ear catching guitar riff followed by great keyboard work. A real violin adds a nice touch. A touch that will come back in other tracks as well, since five string players were added as guests to the line up for this album. The bass solo half ways is a very nice surprise, Devin North knows how to wield his axe (my apologies for that old cliche).

Aoide, Goddes of Song opens with a piano piece that hints at something bigger following, and certainly develops into that, with interchanging lead roles for the guitar and keyboards. The Last Oasis, as said my favourite, is of slightly different nature, starting with only a string quartet. When the rest of the instruments join in, the band sort of delivers a symphony for string quartet, piano and rock band.

These three tracks, together with the slightly too long Moonscape and the string quartet and band piece Bathed in Moonlight make this album worth listening, and probably buying as well.

The downside here are three other tracks. Locked, Fragments of Sleep and to lesser extend Your Arms Hold Them To The Dark are leaning too much to the AOR side for me, and lack the nice compositional details of the tracks highlighted above. These are track two, three and four and if Your Arms? hadn't shown a classical influence and a haunting opening melody to catch my attention, I would have given up on the album too soon. Now skipping over the tracks that I enjoy less make it a worthwhile expeirence. Recommended, but there's room for future improvement for this band.

Also published on my blog

Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition. and to Tuzvihar for the last updates

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