Aah, spring is here. Maybe. Hard to tell with the off and on snow we’re having, but at least that looks like it’s (almost) behind us now. The changing of the seasons always brings about a change in my musical and drink tastes, and what better way to express both of those than another hostile takeover of this column? 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: Incite’s Wake Up Dead and Temperance Brewing Company’s Birdsong.
The Tunes: Incite’s Wake Up Dead
Wake Up Dead, the newest release from Phoenix, AZ’s Incite is a righteous blend of thrash and groove the band dubs “the missing link between Machine Head and Lamb of God.” Fronted by Richie Cavalera (yes, those Cavaleras), the foursome blend five brand new compositions recorded sporadically over the pandemic with five remasters of choice cuts from their nigh-on fifteen-year run, one of which even features Richie’s stepfather Max Cavalera (yes, that Max Cavalera) on guest vocals. Wake Up Dead also marks the debut of newly added guitarist Eli Santana (yes, THAT Eli Santana), providing all of the nasty, thrashy and crunchy riffs and tasty solos on the new cuts. Honestly, if that Ignite album didn’t sell him to me, Wake Up Dead certainly does, because not only does Eli have a killer set of pipes, but he can throw down some truly wild and raunchy guitars as well. The riffs are such a wonderful blend of old-school hardcore thrash and new-school groove. And speaking of pipes, the aforementioned duet “War Soup” stomps and rages back and forth from father to son in a way that feels…uniquely Cavalera-esque. The whole affair is way fuller of catchy hooks and anthemic howls than I was expecting, and the remasters are very well done too. The real draw is the new material, though, and I find myself needing a full 10-12 song album very soon.
The Booze: Temperance Brewing Company’s Birdsong
I feel like most of the booze that I choose to drink on here is more of the hoppy variety, which I love, but it doesn’t scream spring to me. What usually does is something a little bit less assertive but with the same brightness and just a little bit of yeasty funk. Enter, then, Birdsong, the exquisite saison from Temperance Brewing Company, just a hop, skip and a jump away from us in Evanston, IL. Birdsong is everything that I want in a spring beer, and saisons in general: a lot of brightness in the opening, lots of notes of lemon and pepper that fades into a yeasty, funky finish that’s still clean somehow. The hops come through just barely at the end but this beer is much more about the farmhouse yeast, which is actually a much more pleasant experience than it sounds. In fact, this is quite a refreshing and effervescent (I love getting to use that word) beer that’s perfect for the warming days. At 6.3%, it hits the sweet spot between wanting something that has some heft to it and also wanting to be able to drink more than one at a time. And you’ll definitely want to drink more than one of these.
As always, cheers, and be good to each other.