Mar 27, 2017

Oddside Ale's Grandpa's Apple Pie

     Over the past few years Grand Haven, Michigan brewery has gone from a curiosity to me to one of my most favorite Mitten State beer makers ever. For instance, their Citra Pale Ale is one of the most perfect of the kind ever and every other thing they've done that I've tried from their regular rotation stuff like Bean Flicker and so on have been great too.
     With that being said, it's no surprise that their specialty, occasional and seasonal brews rock my socks in quite away too. Their sour series has been way top notch and everything that they've barrel aged has been done way more that awesome too.
     Their Granny's Apple Pie rolls out about once or twice a year and it is one that always makes it way to our fridge and onto our taste buds every time. It's one of those beers where a person says "It really does taste like apple pie" without exaggeration or hyperbole.
     What was missing from it? Nothing. Along comes grandpa though with an idea on how to turn it up a notch anyway. By taking the recipe and letting it sit a while in a rum barrel let me tell ya, Hoo-Boy! Does it ever get a kick in the behind.
     Pouring a little darker amber in color that Granny's is the first sign that this is going to be a little more about being a bit more rustic and burly. The head is minimal so there's no waiting around for that frilly stuff to go away before the sipping starts.
     The aroma is like hanging out at the apple orchard and heading straight to where they make the cider so you can breathe in the air. The tart, the tang and the cinnamon that's sprinkled over the doughnuts that are being baked just around the corner are all represented.
     All these are represented just as much in the flavor too. Cider forward for sure, but the spices do just what they're supposed to do without too much or too little of any of them. The barrel aging brings out an oaky & vanilla rum soaked thing, giving it a richness and taking a kick to another level.
     The milk sugars become more pronounced in the end, which gives the finish something like have a little dollop of ice cream. And what goes better with apple pie than that right?
     A lot of people will tell you that the best way to have apple pie is freshly warm from the oven. Beer is best served at a cooler temperature but don't worry, a few sips of this and you'll feel warm all over.
www.oddsideales.com   

Mar 18, 2017

HWY! Demo

     For ages now, weirdos and artsy types have warned, flirted or embraced the idea of a dystopian world.
     A world where vegetation has been taken over by slabs of cold granite and the only non-monochromatic colors is the flickering of neon advertising proceeded food and manufactured pleasure. A planet where anything that may sound pastoral is drowned out by a caustic symphony of turmoil. A planet where alienation and distrust is the only emotion that is recognized and love and joy have been made illegal and punishable by death.
     A world that was once thought to be only (partially) fictional though is the one HWY! sound as if they are completely already dwelling in. The rumbling bassline on "Minimal Head" that starts off their 4 song demo may trigger thoughts of an old hardcore band at first but when the coated in space gunk guitar blows the doors open to the running a gauntlet pummel of a rhythm and a voice that sounds like it is some kinda of extraterrestrial translator taking a shot at speaking English, things get really weird. A few quiet moments in the song trick the ears into thinking the lashing is over, but they're just eyes of the storm.
     The wiggles that "Scammers" and "Tony From Hawaii" are rooted in the resonating of gigantic spring coils the vibrate violently. Both have a 1960's thing buried in their dissonance, the former with space age spy music twisting through the outbursts; the latter sounding like a what proceeds a luau held in a garage. Sure, that pig is gonna get roasted and an apple put in its mouth eventually but it's gotta get killed and the blood and guts drained first. That's the part the sound revel in the most. The minute and a half burst that's "Jacob Ladder" is like a mash up of those two songs if it was recorded while having a head on crash with a semi in the middle of an electrical storm.
hwyone.bandcamp.com

Mar 3, 2017

WARM BODIES Domo 7inch EP

     How does something give the impression that it is tight and locked in as it can be also seem like it could explode and have parts fly off into a zillion direction at any given second?
     Perhaps that is a question that KCMO's Warm Bodies could answer. On the surface, the band puts down a churlish and opaque vibe that flys a classic Midwest punk rock flag high. From there though they jump off the flagpole and down into a pool filled with virulent things.
     "Turn Me Into Gel" and "My Face Fell Off" hyperspazz out on Devo moves but with a whole lot more rock out lead guitar licks and a heavy hand on the echo knob for the vocals. There are moments where both songs may get ya thinking of a femme vox'd Catholic Boys, but with less brutal jerks to the spine and neck but just a many throttles to the head.
     When the band slows the temple down, things aren't any calmer in the least. "At The Laundromat" start out like a buzz blast crawl of a Stooges song lumbering through deep space but once it hits the spin cycle an incensed agitation is noted all over the neighborhood. The weaving and spindly sounds on songs like "The Psychic Connection" may also bring out a slight thought of Public Image Limited's (Jah) wobbling at first but then the band takes another turn down some bumpy road where only they know they're headed. 
Neck Chop Records