Here is the press release regarding the upcoming live album by the Aristocrats!
The rowdy and rollicking instrumental rock/fusion power trio The Aristocrats (guitarist Guthrie Govan, bassist Bryan Beller and drummer Marco Minnemann) loudly and proudly showcase their renowned electric onstage chemistry on FREEZE! Live In Europe 2020, which will drop on May 7, 2021. Pre-orders are available now at various outlets listed below.
Featuring performances from across Spain in February 2020, just weeks before live music went on extended hiatus, the album leans heavily on debut live-recorded renditions of material from their most recent album, the critically acclaimed You Know What…? [BOING, 2019] which debuted at #2 on the Billboard Jazz Charts (U.S.)
“FREEZE! documents a particularly memorable period for the band so I think it’s really fortunate that we were able to capture this musical ‘snapshot’”, says Govan. “After months of relentless gigging, the material from our latest studio recording had started to feel really natural for us and yet… somehow, there was still an unmistakable element of excitement and musical risk-taking on stage every night when we played those songs.”
It also contains an epic version of the band’s classic “Get It Like That”, with a drum solo by Minnemann specially dedicated to Rush’s Neil Peart, who passed while the band was on tour.
“Growing together as a band also means knowing, focusing and perfecting the details of our musical presentations” explains Minnemann. “On tour, we sometimes become our worst critics and maybe one out of ten gigs fully pleases the band as a collective. But I believe that sort of ‘quality control’ is necessary and trying to give 110% every night is the least we can do for us and especially our fans. I have to admit that I at first was reluctant listening to the recordings, almost fearful about how many mistakes I would find. However, with a little bit of distance and fresh ears, I was actually more than pleased finding out that this ‘hand-picked’ selection of Aristocratic tunes I believe showcases the band as a very well-toured, oiled and locked machine, with not only love and attention to detail, but also playfulness and fun. Furthermore, Neil Peart sadly passed away during our European leg …. I played my heart out for him every single night.”
Bassist Beller summarizes the vibe thusly: “Like Guthrie and Marco said, by February 2020 we were deep into the ‘You Know What…?’ touring cycle, almost up to 100 shows. We were greased up and ready to go, every night. But we had no way of knowing as we plowed through Spain that these would be some of the last shows we’d play for a while. So it’s special on several levels for us to be able to share this frozen moment in time, which is what a live album truly is. It’s a statement of what we were bringing to stages every night in the heat of a world tour; it’s something for our fans who may not have caught this tour to experience and hopefully enjoy at home; and, ideally, it’s also something to keep the flame burning for when we can get back out there and let loose onstage once again. Because that’s what we do best.”
- D Grade Fuck Movie Jam
- Spanish Eddie
- When We All Come Together
- The Ballad Of Bonnie And Clyde
- Get It Like That (Dedicated To Neil Peart)
- Last Orders
FREEZE! Live In Europe 2020 is available for pre-order now in all purchase formats and will be available starting May 7 on CD and digital download, with streaming services to follow in subsequent weeks. Hi-res digital downloads of FREEZE! are available exclusively at the band’s brand new Bandcamp store, along with CD-or-better quality digital downloads of the band’s entire back catalog for the very first time. Also, a limited-run double-vinyl version of FREEZE! will be available through Diggers Factory.
All pre-orders of FREEZE! will include an instant download of the song “Spanish Eddie”.
All studio and live releases by The Aristocrats can be purchased at:
and wherever music is sold.
This is one of the trickier reviews I have had to do. I am reviewing two versions of the same album. As you probably know, Transatlantic recorded “The Absolute Universe” as a single album and then decided hey let’s make it a double BUT let’s change parts of it so that the releases are different from each other.
So we have ” The Absolute Universe: The Breath Of Life (Abridged Version)” and “The Absolute Universe: The Breath Of Life (Abridged Version).” Also there’s yet another version called “The Absolute Universe – The Ultimate Edition” which collects both and adds more to it. Look, this is definitely a cash grab. I have no issues with that but let’s be honest. There is no reason that they couldn’t have made one 3 disc set with both versions.
Sadly you need to buy the “Ultimate Edition” which has vinyl and blu ray and all sorts of shit and yes it’s expensive as hell. But I digress. What about the two versions? How different are they? They are both very similar with many songs having different lyrics or melodies or slight additions to them. Honestly, it’s hard to remember which is which when you keep listening to them together. They blend.
And to be clear, “The Absolute Universe” is a great album at either length. Even listening to “The Breathe of Life,” I don’t feel like I’ve missed anything really. You just get to the destination a little faster. “The Breathe of Life” has 14 tracks and is 65 minutes long while “Forevermore” has 18 tracks and is 91 minutes long. If I am going to pick between them, I’d take “Forevermore” because you get more music. And it doesn’t have filler either.
You’d assume that maybe stretching an album out after the fact might cause bloating but it’s not the case. This is one of their better albums and honestly, it might be my favorite Transatlantic album. So it’s a shame that it’s a damn cash grab too! But honestly, fans should buy whatever they can afford. Is it worth having both, I think so. But I love alternate versions of all kinds. If you can only get one, get the longer one and you are good to go.
The songs segue into each other, themes return, and the flow is perfect. In short this is classic Transatlantic. If you love the band, you will love the album. If only there was an absolute version of “The Absolute Universe” that didn’t break the bank!
Label: InsideOut Music
Release Date: February 5, 2021