The rock-fusion trio known as the Aristocrats are back with a second album fortiﬁed with artistic maturity from gigging around the world. With a stronger, more-cohesive musical vision, bassist Bryan Beller, drummer Marco Minnemann, and guitarist Guthrie Govan create a dizzying record full of brisk genre leaps, melodic skips, and intense groove manipulation.
The band integrates their talents to great affect, using their ample supply of melodic humor, lethal chops, and careening rollercoaster-like compositions. Minnemann’s “Dance Of The Aristocrats” provides prodigious drumming, while Govan delivers a variety of textures, clever rhythmic devices, and untethered soloing. The title track sends you deeper into attention deﬁcit disorder land; the initial “Wow!” factor makes you wish you’d practiced harder. By the time you get to Beller’s “Louisville Stomp,” you’re hearing a rapidly changing kaleidoscope of familiar musical tropes superbly woven together instead into a satisfying composition.
Govan’s “Gaping Head Wound” and Minnemann’s “Desert Tornado” provide stimulating showcases for the band’s ability to stop on a dime, change time signatures, and display break-neck shifts in dynamics.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s January ’14 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.