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 offerings: Dead Register’s Don’t Fail Me and Two Brothers’ Brewing Company’s Wizard Staff.
The Tunes: Dead Register – Don’t Fail Me
Dead Register is the DIY-or-Die post-metal/avant-garde doom husband and wife duo of M. Chvasta and Avril Che and drummer/engineer R. Garcia, purveyors of hefty, bass heavy stomps that feature soaring vocals and poignant melodies that touch as much as they rip. On their newest single “Don’t Fail Me” (released in advance from their forthcoming album), the trio pump out a hefty mix of their particular brand of Neurosis-meets-The Cure art doom, writhing through delicate arpeggios, subtle drums and Chvasta’s signature croon before building into a crushing, swirling wall of thick, throbbing bass and belted vocals. Between the Bass VI that Chvasta plays and the bass synths from Che, you definitely feel the low end on this track, but the sonic landscape isn’t all monochromatic. There’s plenty of melody to fill everything up, as you would expect from a group known for its grasp of evocative soundscapes. Chvasta’s vocals are definitely the star of the show across the six minutes, as he seamlessly goes from belting and growling to subtle, passionate serenading and back again. In keeping with the tradition and aesthetic the band has embodied, they self-produced a music video to go with the track too, that features the band’s first foray into puppetry. Sounds cheesy, but it actually works pretty well with the feeling of the song, and it shows you just how creative in every sense of the word the band is. The single is rounded out by three live cuts, recorded from the band’s Fall 2019 tour (remember those?), and an industrial remix of “Don’t Fail Me” by friends of the column Lament Cityscape (oh hey). Obviously, the new track is the main draw, but the live tracks are impeccably recorded and impressively mixed, and they do an awesome job of putting you right in front of the band (minus the live visuals usually supplied by Che, of course), and the Lament Cityscape remix is a really well executed take on a song that already throbs with bass. It almost stretches the space out and give everything more room to breathe by boiling the song down to its essentials. Overall, really impressive and well-rounded set of tunes!
The Booze: Two Brothers Brewing Company – Wizard Staff
Wizard Staff is a low-alcohol, easy drinking IPA that is perfect for the Tuesday evening that I sit here typing this. I love a good strong IPA with lots of hop bite as much as anyone else (assuming that’s also what you love), but I don’t always need to be beaten over the head with metric tons of pine. I think it almost takes more skill to dial it back and bring out the subtlety of all the big flavors IPAs carry, and Wizard Staff absolutely does that. There’s still plenty of juicy fruit notes up front, along with the usual floral and pine flavors, but the expected bitterness is absent, which I kind of miss, but it’s replaced with a tropical sweetness in the finish that leaves me wanting more. I usually steer clear of anything billed as “easy-drinking” because…I mean, what’s the point in all this? But I’ve gotta say, Wizard Staff really does hit the spot. And at 5.0% ABV, it’s hardly “low-alcohol.” It’s just about as much as any other beer, and it packs in enough flavor to stand tall over other so-called “crushable” IPAs that don’t really tend to carry much more flavor that a lite beer. With the week I’ve been having, it’s a perfect way to drown the sorrows of a working day before the next one rears its ugly head.
It’s good to be back here. I’ve been relishing smaller releases lately, both given the amount of time I actually have to listen to music and the amount of time I have to write about it. It helps to have this outlet, and if there’s drinking to go with it? Well, that makes it all the sweeter. Until next time, cheers, and be good to each other.