We’re in the home stretch of both this week and this year as a whole, so let’s get one more dose of some newness in there before we wrap things up. Celebrate in style with me as we talk about Arche’s Transitions and Dogfish Head Brewery’s Hazy-O IPA.
The Tunes: Arche – Transitions
Sometimes you just get really, really lucky. Arche’s 2015 album Undercurrents was a random grab I made years ago when buying other things from a distro. I had never heard of the band before, but I thought the photo on the cover was pretty, I’m an absolute sucker for funeral doom, and since it was a cassette tape it couldn’t have set me back more than $5, so it was easy to think to myself, “yeah, I’ll take a chance on that”. Once I actually got to listen to it, Arche immediately demonstrated themselves as being worth their weight in US dollars and then some. I loved that album and listened to it religiously when in the mood for doom. Flash forward seven years down the line, and I found myself trawling through our promo list when a familiar name caught my eye. After a lengthy silence, it is my extreme pleasure to say that Transitions continues in Arche’s tradition of excellence. There may not be much that breaks any mold here, but the three songs contained on this album are solid, timeless funeral doom the way only Finland can make. Verdant and lush, like damp green moss growing on an old gravestone, these songs are beautiful, heartbreaking, devastatingly heavy, and so easy to get lost in. If you have even a casual interest in doom, this album is a home run for you.
The Booze: Dogfish Head Brewing Company’s Hazy-O IPA
Looks like beer’s back on the menu. I felt compelled to grab a six pack of Hazy-O on a recent grocery haul because 1.) Dogfish Head is always quality stuff and 2.) I have found myself enamored with beer brewed with oats. There’s something about the smooth, rich texture they bring to the beverage that fascinates me. Hazy-O is this concept taken to an extreme, brewed with oats four different ways: malted, rolled, and naked oats, plus oat milk. The oat milk in particular is what really sold me on this drink; Dogfish Head claims that it gives the drink “an amplified haze and mouthfeel” and while about the only ‘complaint’ I have about this beer is that I wish the taste of the oat milk was more apparent (being someone who very much enjoys the stuff), I can’t argue more than that with the results. Hazy IPA’s are already smooth and easy drinking, but the massive amount of oat products in here give Hazy-O an additional richness that makes it go down even easier. It’s bright and fruity but mellow and not aggressive, perfectly in balance in all ways. Like the previously mentioned Arche album, for a spur of the moment purchase, this thing delivers in spades.
Cheers, and be good to each other