Receiving the Evcharist is our weekly feature where we pair choice albums with our favorite libations. Drink from the cup of heresy. This week’s offering: Raspberry Bulbs’ Before the Age of Mirrors and Pizza Port Brewing Company’s Surfari IPA.
The Tunes: Raspberry Bulbs’ Before the Age of Mirrors
Black metal by way of garage punk? Lyrics that read like if Glenn Danzig watched one too many David Lynch movies? Must be time for a new Raspberry Bulbs album. After almost six years of inactivity, Before the Age of Mirrors sees the group return just as irreverent and defiant as ever before. Raspberry Bulbs have always had a singular take on the classic black metal/punk fusion, and for my money my favorite take on the style, because they avoid the “here’s the black metal song/here’s the punk song/here’s the black metal song/repeat ad nauseum” formula too many of these bands employ and actually work to craft a cohesive fusion of the styles. Leaning much more heavily on an Iggy and the Stooges style proto-punk sound with the aesthetic of early Darkthrone veneered over the top, songs like “They’re After Me,” “Doggerel,” and “Ultra Vires” are carried by snarling vocals, riffs that cut like hyena teeth, and unrepentant stomping percussion. Back that up with an atmosphere created by red-lined, fuzzed out production, eerie sample-heavy interludes, and lyrics that read like a play-by-play of someone’s anxiety induced nightmare and you’ve got an album that sticks with you, that slithers its way into your brain and your chest until you start to think “Fuck, maybe they ARE after me.” It’s the same kind of combination of discomfort and excitement you get from good horror media, and the songs on Before the Age of Mirrors hit like Twilight Zone episodes condensed into four minute punk bruisers. I can only hope we don’t have to wait six more years to hear more like this.
The Booze: Pizza Port Brewing Company’s Surfari IPA
We’re staying firmly in IPA land again this week, although moving away from the hazy realm. I was recommended Pizza Port Brewing Company’s Surfari by two friends who might be among the only of my social circle who love beer more than I do, so I was pretty excited to track this down for this week. And like good friends, I was not steered wrong. We’ve shown Pizza Port some love on this column here before, and Pit Viper is a pretty good jump off point to get a sense of the flavor of Surfari. Both are West Coast style IPA’s but Surfari is a much tamer beast, focusing more on the dank. There is an excellent balance here between the tropical fruit and citrus notes, creating a lush confluence of sweet, bright high notes that ping around the mouth fading into a clean finish with virtually no bitterness. Pizza Port excels at making familiar drinks that are a cut above average, and Surfari might be my favorite example of this yet.
Cheers, and be good to each other,