Band: The Aaron Clift Experiment
CD Title: If All Goes Wrong
Label: Independent Release (2018)
Rating: Brilliant and complex AmeriProg
The Aaron Clift Experiment has been a part of the growing Austin Texas Prog scene since their formation in 2012 and here they are with album number three. If All Goes Wrong opens with the straight-forward rocker “Faith” [4:40] before getting into a variety of more complex, King Crimson inspired material. This is really good stuff, what I would call classic AmeriProg. It’s melodic and harmonic often with intricate guitar work front and centre. And yet never very far away is a wonderfully full landscape of keyboard sounds. These nine compositions are peppered with a myriad of shifting musical change-ups that keep the listener always guessing what’s going to happen next. Beautiful melody lines that start and stop will still remind you of the work of Echolyn although in truth that is less evident this time around. Clearly the band’s writing and performance style has matured and become more their own. If anything here on If All Goes Wrong they are channeling their love of early King Crimson more often than not, even down to some really haunting Mellotron sounds. Think of tunes like “Epitaph” from the first KC album but here created with their own personal and distinct touch. These are tunes that feature plenty of instrumental action, loaded with lots of interesting musical shifts in time, tempo and overall musical dynamics. Some great call-and-response musicianship is put up against major and minor tension and release. Then just for variety, out of the blue the band crafts a song like “Better off Before” [3:07] which is a wonderful Beatles/Queen mashup. Brilliant! Man, this is such a great album, I can’t help but recommend it. If you liked their previous release, Outer Light, Inner Darkness, you’ll love If All Goes Wrong.