Happy Friday. To celebrate another week down the hatch, I thought it might be nice to revisit this column yet again. This time, we’re spinning Gillian Carter’s Salvation Through Misery and sipping some Golden State Distillery’s Gray Whale gin.
The Tunes: Gillian Carter’s Salvation Through Misery
When the first track on an album is called ‘Life is Hell, Hell is Fucked’, that should be a pretty clear indicator of what you’re in for, and Gillian Carter’s latest release Salvation Through Misery delivers everything promised on that front. Born from a period of life when band spearhead Logan Rivera watched every personal and professional goal crumble away as COVID swept the country, Salvation is an album that is the heaviest and most bleak in the band’s career, tackling the subjects of isolation, loss, and despair with poetic lyrical honesty and crushingly heavy riffs. Yet even tucked into this dense, almost suffocating at times deluge of riffs are moments of poignant beauty that transform suffering into something more. In this way, Salvation exemplifies everything I love about screamo, and stands as a new high water mark in the career of a band I have long admired. All the pain that went into the making of this album was worth something.
The Booze: Golden State Distillery’s Gray Whale Gin
Have I mentioned here lately that I love gin? It bears consistent repeating either way: I love gin. I love gin in cocktails, and I love gin straight up. I’ve been on a big Hendrick’s kick for the longest time, but a recent trip to re-up my supply had me craving something different. Golden State Distillery’s Gray Whale drew me in with it’s simple yet alluring bottle design and hooked me solid with its intriguing flavor profile. Truly a love letter to the state that it was crafted in, Gray Whale is created with six main botanical ingredients sourced from all over California, from the Napa Valley to the southeastern reaches of Temecula, many of which I’ve not seen in gin before. The result is a fascinating and wonderful drink, beautifully balanced with each ingredient heightening the others. Juniper takes center stage here with fir tree enhancing the herbal quality and lending an almost smoky character, lightened up by the lime and mint, while the almond and sea kelp round out some of the harsh edges and give an almost umami depth to the whole thing. Taking a chance on Gray Whale was a resounding success, and this will for sure be a new constant in my liquor cabinet from now on.
Cheers, and be good to each other,