So I’ll admit that my timing with the Chicago beer is a little curious. I suppose I was only in that city two weeks ago, but it would have made more sense to run this little number last week. Regardless, I decided to follow last week’s trend and spin (literally) a more recent record (literally) this Thursday evening. And by evening I mean basically Friday morning… it just about to strike midnight. I know, I know, my game has been weak this… week. But life changes frequently and sometimes you gotta go with the flow. More on that front in a couple weeks when I run my column. For now, let’s focus on what really matters. The Metal: Pelican – The Cliff. The Booze: Finch’s Beer Company Hardcore Chimera.
The Metal: Pelican – The Cliff
I’ll never forget my first Pelican experience. They were given the incredible opportunity to play Maryland Deathfest in 2013… immediately after Carcass. That was back in the day when the Sonar compound was a thing. Today, MDF isn’t exactly making the participants of the last few years happy, but that’s a discussion for another day. So what about Pelican? Their instrumental prog/post metal thing they do was very much a curiosity some three years ago, given their set position and all that. But they performed well, I have been following them since, and when I learned of a 2015 EP that was going to include vocals…? Yeah I was curious. In all honesty I picked this vinyl up on a whim. I had a few extra bucks lying around so I figured I would go for it. What I didn’t expect was how much I appreciate the vocal aspect of it. I understand some people may have mixed (*cough* negative) feelings about the idea, but I’m one to hold high value in the way words interplay with music and I generally think Pelican do well here. For those unaware, the first three tracks are called “The Cliff” — but the first one is the only real track that features a straightforward vocal layer. So you get both stylings here; familiar Pelican, and singing Pelican. The subsequent tracks are all various instrumental remixes. This final track is called “The Wait”, but I’ve run out of time to talk about that one. It’s an interesting EP when you go through it fairly regularly and experience how the same song can vary quite drastically with different elements applied. I enjoy it, some may not, and as usual the only opinion that matters is my own.
The Booze: Finch Beer Co. – Hardcore Chimera
But what I definitely need well after midnight is a double IPA. Because this isn’t going to ruin tomorrow morning for me at all. Thankfully, this is a good one and the inevitable hangover I’m experiencing as you read this was totally worth it. A solid one pint pour of 9% hoppy glory is exactly what I was looking for this evening. Yes, absolutely this beer is far more aggressive relative to my album choice, but I’m going to make it work. Even though a four song EP is not nearly enough time to work through a pint of this beast. It pours a fairly clear, fairly dark amber (for an IPA) and smells exactly like what a 9% beer should. It tastes incredibly sweet, with a nice hop dryness on the backend to balance things out. I don’t know how it took so long to uncover this guy at my local craft beer shop, but I’m glad I finally got around to it. No, this is most definitely not the best double IPA I’ve ever had. Maybe not even top 10. But right now it is smooth, delicious, and full of booze. The Chicago craft beer scene is absolutely on a roll and this just another example. Solid beer. Maybe not the best, but very very solid. If you’re a fan of double IPAs, definitely pick this one up if you stumble across it, just don’t expect to productive for a few hours after. Also, it’s my 610th distinct beer since I started keeping track, for those keeping score at home. Let’s see where I am next week.
Sometimes the metal is more aggressive than the beer. Sometimes it’s the other way around. Today was the latter. But I enjoyed them both. Sure the brief EP was ideal for my attention span after slugging a couple of these back, but isn’t that a good thing? Efficiency? I’m good as justifying my actions.Some call them excuses. I like to think I’m a phenomenal self-enabler. It sounds fancier. Enjoy your weekends.
“Ein Bier… bitte.”