January 13, 2015

The Aristocrats: Culture Clash Live

photo: Tore Kersten

Power fusion instrumental rock trio The Aristocrats played 105 shows in 28 different countries during their Culture Clash tour. Five shows were filmed for a live DVD, but as it turned out all shows suffered from technical snafus at some point and the band decided to make the most of it by releasing the Culture Clash Live CD/DVD combo as a composite with tracks from all shows plus the audio from a show in Whittier, CA. Taking into account that they had to deal with different acoustics in each venue they were up for a big challenge to create a consistent flow. The camera follows them straight from the cramped stage in Manchester to the impressive hall in Tokyo - quite a feat of daring editing.

Guthrie Govan (guitar), Bryan Beller (bass) and Marco Minnemann (drums) have an on stage chemistry that takes their material far beyond the limits of the studio versions. Composed sections are stretched or turned inside out and there is plenty of room to wander off into uncharted territories. The fun factor is an integral part of the music, like squeezing a plastic pig and a chicken during Get It Like That and plenty of in-between tracks banter explaining the song titles - Marco Minneman is quite proud that naming a song Blues Fuckers earned them a parental advisory sticker on an instrumental album.

Musicians will appreciate the many close-ups of the trio's handiwork, and thankfully very little standard guitar face shots that are so popular on live DVDs. Only three tracks are culled from the same show on both CD and DVD, giving the listener plenty of opportunity to spot the differences. The extras feature four audio only demos for the Culture Clash studio album (including the previously unreleased prog metal/sci-fi outtake Car Salesman from Hell) and the impressive 20-Cam set-up for the drum solo in Tokyo.

Culture Clash Live is a worthy document of a band playing their "weird" music all over the world. Their appreciative audience loves them and they love 'em right back. The final night of the Japanese leg of the tour will be available on the official 2CD bootleg Secret Show: Live In Osaka, exclusively at their webstore and merchandise tables. This limited release (1,000 copies) will be signed by the band.

Culture Clash Live is released on their own label BOING Records. Buy it from their webstore. Release date: January 20th.

Culture Clash Live CD Track Listing

  1. Sweaty Knockers (Whittier, CA, USA)
  2. Ohhhh Noooo (Whittier, CA, USA)
  3. Get It Like That (Whittier, CA, USA)
  4. Culture Clash (Whittier, CA, USA)
  5. Gaping Head Wound (Whittier, CA)
  6. Louisville Stomp (Manchester, UK)
  7. Desert Tornado (Bangkok, Thailand)
  8. Living The Dream (Zoetermeer, The Netherlands)

Culture Clash Live DVD Track Listing

  1. Furtive Jack (Tokyo, Japan)
  2. Ohhhh Noooo (Bangkok, Thailand)
  3. Lousville Stomp (Manchester, UK)
  4. Get It Like That (Tokyo, Japan)
  5. Culture Clash (Bangkok, Thailand)
  6. Blues Fuckers (Mexico City, MX)
  7. Gaping Head Wound (Mexico City, MX)
  8. Desert Tornado (Bangkok, Japan)
  9. Living The Dream (Zoetermeer, The Netherlands)

The band will road test new material during a 4-night stand at the Alvas Showroom in San Pedro, CA, before entering the Sunset Sound Studios in Hollywood, CA to record their third studio album. Tentative release date: July 2015.

Live dates:

An European tour is likely to kick off in March 2015.

» the-aristocrats-band.com

HCTF review of Culture Clash.

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