Following the release of Boing, We’ll Do It Live! in 2012, multi-national fusion trio The Aristocrats once again fill in the wait from album to album with not one but two live releases. While Secret Show: Live In Osaka features the band’s full performance, the main attraction is a compilation of the bands favourite performances from their Culture Clash tour (which I’m reviewing today).
Culture Clash Live! opens up with bassist Bryan Beller clarifying that the next song is about tits, which is particularly curious for an instrumental song. In the same way the compositions on Culture Clash sounded more cohesive and carefully composed as opposed to the expansive jams on their debut, CCL! feels more focused than the previous live offerings, which often added a little too much improvisation to the already long jams from their selt titled debut.
Among the highlights of this live album (which despite being called CCL! also features a few songs off their self-titled debut out of the 8 that compose the album) are the now classic “animal jam”, the fast paced “Louisville Stomp” and the dark “Desert Tornado”. The mix is at all times spacey (especially the drumming) and crystal clear which is a relief when things get shreddy and noisy.
The band has recently announced the release of their third LP for this summer (northern hemisphere), so there will be no shortage of material to way until then, specially for a band that excels live. The whole trio are masters at their instruments (the band formed after meeting up for a showcase in NAMM) so there’s no shortage of “wow” moments but at the same time they are perfectly coordinated and never outdo each other and it shows that there’s a lot of communication between them, as well as a lot of rehearsal put into every performance. CCL! is a demonstration of musical chemistry from beginning to end.
Rating: very good
For fans of: rock, jazz, blues, prog rock, fusion
Accessibility: if this is the first time you listen to them, I suggest the studio album first
Highlights: “Culture Clash”, “Desert Tornado”