Ok. So it’s Thursday night. And tomorrow is a Friday unlike most Friday’s because I actually have a lot of work to do. And another factor: I just got in from the bar where I spent the entirety of the US match against Ecuador in the Copa America. The guys that are coincidental from the same country as me won, so that’s nice. While all that excitement has simmered, and I have also mellowed out, I decided now would be a good time to serve up the entry to everyone’s weekend. And I’m going to do that with two of the things that have always signified the summer season for me. The Metal: Anathema’s We’re Here Because We’re Here. The Booze: Peak Organic Brewing Company’s Fresh Cut.
Fine. This may not be the most metal album I’ve ever picked for a Friday afternoon. In fact, it’s probably the least metal album I’ve chosen. But I don’t care. Since I picked this album up in 2011 (it came out a year before), there has always been something magical about it. You put this on and you simply get lost in emotion and peace. From the inspirational message of “Summer Night Horizon”, the slow build of the tear-jerking “Dreaming Light” and everything in between. This album is just… mesmerizing. I don’t care what is going on in your life, there is something in this album that will hit close to home and it will have an impact on you. For me, it didn’t take long on the opening bars of “Thin Air”. But the reality is, this thing doesn’t spare a moment all the way through, with “A Simple Mistake” serving as another soul-searching journey towards the twilight of the album. Look. This may not be heavy. But it is powerful. And for anyone who has ever appreciated a glorious summer day alone on the beach or in the forest, this thing serves as a brilliant soundtrack to that. It’s beautiful, refreshing, and introspective in a way that only Anathema can deliver.
The Booze: Peak Organic Brewing Company’s Fresh Cut
Along similar lines, we have the amazing Fresh Cut. Seriously. I drink these cans like water in the summer. I’m not Peak’s biggest fan. But when we’re talking a hot summer day with a sessionable beer in our hand that never cuts out any deliciousness, this is my go-to 100% of the time. It’s a pilsner, which means it’s an easy beer to fuck up (like any American macrobrew?). But this beer is special. It’s hopped up perfectly, the modest taste of the pilsner style is turned up just a bit with the dryness of the hops to give it a delicious bite. But the refreshing nature of the beer is never compromised. It is still light, crushable, and refreshing. It’s just… a really relaxing beer to drink without feeling like you’re drinking piss water or approaching oblivion with a heavy IPA. The perfect stylistic fusion. The hoppy pilsner is a style that has recently gained traction in the microbrew world, but as far as I’m concerned, Peak does it best by a distance. Few other beers are as appreciated in the hotter summer months. Or year round. Wheat beers, aside, of course. Because I will always have a soft spot in my heart for them.
I could quite literally sit here for hours and pound back Fresh Cut after Fresh Cut while listening to Anathema. There’s something about this combination that always has and always will remind me of even, relaxed pace of summer. Sure, the band in this situation might bring up some… emotionally challenging memories of years past, but you need to learn to embrace that kind of stuff and appreciate what you’ve become because of it. That’s where I’m at now with these two beautiful instruments of satisfaction, so I’m gonna wrap it up and wish you all a wonderful weekend.
“Ein Bier… bitte.”