Let me tell you folks, it’s been a WEEK. I need this more than you know. Today’s pairing is Fucked Up’s Oberon and Whiner Beer Company’s Hop Tub. Drink from the cup of heresy, indeed.
The Tunes: Fucked Up’s Oberon
It should be no surprise to anyone that Fucked Up is putting out yet another release. While Oberon is “just” an EP, anybody even remotely familiar with the band knows they are absolutely incapable of sitting on their laurels. And if you’re not familiar with the band, good luck getting started, because they have over eighty releases to their name. Following up on the expansive (to say the least) Year of the Horse saga, not to mention Do All Words Can Do, which was just released in March, Oberon’s four tracks serve to reconnect the band with their hardcore roots, albeit with some of the requisite experimentation that has characterized the latter part of their career. This is definitely a release that *feels* a like a Fucked Up release – it’s experimental, but also deeply melodic (see the midsection of the title track) and heavy with the requisite HxC swagger. The riffs trudge along beefily, the vocals are gruff and assertive (although bordering on spoken word in some of the weirder parts), but they are complimented by lots of intricate details and some additions of things that are decidedly not HxC, at least not for purists anyway. But these end up being some of my favorite parts of the EP, like the brooding synth arpeggios that back up the guitars on “Mashhit” or the orchestration on their cover of Saint-Saens’ “The Aquarium.” Oberon is a little noise, a little experimental, a little hardcore, almost doom in some spots, but most of all, it’s pretty Fucked Up, and that’s good enough for me.
The Booze: Whiner Brewing Company’s Hop Tub
Love me a good saison. I find myself becoming more attracted to yeasty beers than hoppy beers lately, and Hop Tub is a great example of what I like about them. I’ve actually had Whiner beers several times before, since they are based in Chicago and I can often find something from their [X] Tub series on tap at several of my favorite concert spots. In my mind, this beer is associated with live music for that reason, but there’s no reason this couldn’t be a “just because” beer either. Hop Tub is the newest addition to this series, and blends what Whiner does best with local produce. Wild, funky and sour flavors are complimented with dry hopped Nelson Sauvin hops and local raw honey (courtesy of Bike-a-Bee), both of which open up some powerful floral notes you just don’t get in other beers. The sour yeastiness hits first on the tongue before opening up into white grape, honey funk and ever-so-slight hoppy bitterness, all rounded out into a clean finish that leaves you wanting more. There’s a lot of layers to discover with this beer, which is good, because at 8% ABV you probably want to sip this instead of chug it. Overall, I don’t see anything to whine about with this one. Eh? Eh? I’ll see myself out…
Well, you know how it goes: cheers, and be good to each other.