Showing posts from May, 2012

Beats: Campus – Empathy review

Coming from Belgium where they have quite quickly smashed the music scene to hell, Campus are an energetic post-hardcore band who just want to touch people’s souls. They have certainly touched mine with this E.P. The E.P. opens up with the title track, Empathy and a wonderfully technical riff that makes your heart beat. The vocals are aggressive and heartfelt and the drums are wonderfully heavy. As the song continues it develops into a huge atmospheric explosion with awesome clean vocals along with the aggressiveness and the breakdown at the end that I was waiting for during the whole song... I just knew it was coming, I wanted it to come and when it finally did it was satisfying. As this 4-track masterpiece of an E.P. continues, we hear more of the same... blinding riffs, huge beats and atmosphere – Definitely not a bad thing. As I think about it and listen more, I’ve come to realise that the clean vocals aren’t dissimilar from a lot of late nu-metal which

Beats: Pinkunoizu – Free Time Review

Image taken from Pinkunoizu . It means ‘Pink Noise’ in Japanese. This band isn’t Japanese though. They’re Danish. And live in Berlin. The press release says “ they play an exotic mixture of lo-fi, high-life, nu-folklore, ’60s Asian pop and post-apocalyptic future rock” and I don’t know what any of that means. All I know is that Pinkunoizu are weird as shit. I first heard the song Parabolic Delusions (video below) and was instantly hooked. It’s catchy. I mean really catchy. I’d describe it as almost electronically militant. I don’t even know what I’m talking about. The chorus is what really gets you wanting to listen to this song on loop 50 million times – “Like an endless loop of American troops, I will come for you; I will come for you” – I don’t understand it. I don’t understand why I like it so much. Maybe because it’s so utterly bizarre. I had to hear the album. I don’t think I would have survived without hearing more weirdness.

Booze: An open letter to Kevin Black (No cocks)

Well it's not really a letter. More of an open apology for the Two Cocks jokes. Last week, Kevin Black posted a video review of Two Cocks Brewery 1634 Puritan Stout. It was a great review, in all fairness. A load of us in the Beer Drinkers United Facebook Group thought Two Cocks was hilarious. Stu & Dave started it. The jokes came flooding in... "I wonder if you could age two cocks or are they supposed to be had fresh?" "Have you tried chugging two cocks?" "Don't you swallow two cocks?" "He got good head from two cocks" "Have you tried two cocks? Kevin Black seems to really enjoy the taste of two cocks!" "Surprised he didn't review that beer with some English Port Faggots" "He could've had two cocks and a couple of faggots" Poor Kevin got a bit annoyed. I think the tipping point was the below tweet @ NateDawg27 Have respect for this new Brewery mate and hopefully soo

Booze: Minimum Pricing – What will it achieve?

Now, this may come as a shock to you but I like a few drinks every once in a while. Ok, more than a few and more nights than not. When I first read that the government were considering minimum pricing per unit on alcoho l I was outraged. Then they decided that it was definitely occurring. I was angry for a few reasons: Firstly, I like alcohol a lot. Secondly, the beer duty escalator pushes the price of beer up enough as it is. And thirdly, this gives the government yet another way to sting us each budget. Yes, I’m aware that it’s not actually a tax and apparently doesn’t benefit the government but minimum pricing is set at 40p (50p in Scotland soon) a unit now but what about next year when they decide that 40p isn’t enough and sticks another 3p on, then another 2p the next year and so on whilst at the same time raising beer duty, yet again. What I don’t get and I’ve seen that others don’t get either ( including a beer retailer ) is who actually gets the money

Booze: Camden Town USA Hells Unfiltered Lager

Brewery: Camden Town Beer: USA Hells Style: Unfiltered Lager ABV: 4.6% Bought from: I was very excited to drink this beer after making it a ritual thing to drink the original Camden Town Hells every time I go to London. A craft beer bar will always have it on. That wonderfully refreshing biscuity, lemony and grassy lager… perfect for summer drinking. I love it. I bought this because, well, it’s that awesome beer but with American Hops instead of German and I don’t recall ever having an unfiltered lager before. It pours a hazy lemony straw colour with a head that don’t quit. Aroma is sweet, malty, fruity and grassy – It reminds me of summer days gone. Flavours are everything you’d expect from American hops… you’ve still got the buscuity malt backbone but instead of the lemony flavours you’re getting that piney hoptastic smack of C-hops; Mango, pineapple and lime… yet still with that grassy finish. Mouthfeel, being unfi

Beats: TesseracT – Perspective Review

For those of you who know TesseracT , they really need no introduction but for those of you who don’t, here’s a brief outline: TesseracT are a five-piece progressive technical metal band who formed in 2007 and appeared to burst onto the scene very quickly, quite rightly receiving props from peers such as Textures and Meshuggah, as well as press alike (Metal Hammer, Rock Sound, Scuzz). Through, two EPs, an album and touring with artists such as the great Devin Townsend they have gained an international fanbase. Now, onto perspective. Perspective is somewhat different to TesseracT ’s other stuff as it is acoustic but you can tell that it has TesseracT written all over it. They have taken 3 of their previous songs – Perfection , April and Origin – and turned them into acoustic songs as well as a cover of Jeff Buckley’s Dream Brother and wait for it… Eden 2.0! And just wow. They’ve done a brilliant job. They are all such talented musicians but I’ve been part

Beats: Hour of 13 – 333 Review

Hour of 13 have been hiding in the dark corners of the Doom metal underground for about 6 years now. It’s just two guys; Chad Davis plays all of the instruments and does most of the song writing whilst Phil Swanson provides vocals. I hadn’t heard anything by these guys before which I am angry at myself for as I bloody love Doom Metal. I get excited whenever I read the word “Doom” so I had a feeling this was going to be good. As someone who didn’t really know what to expect (Other than doominess), I was impressed. As soon as Deny The Cross comes on you get that Sabbath-esque doominess which is never a bad thing. It’s groovy, heavy and lyrically awesome. This continues through The Burning with the hard-hitting groovy riffs, and intensely doomy vocals. Then we get to Rites Of Samhain which sees a slight change from straight up doom to doom tinged with a slight NWOBHM feel in the vein of Iron Maiden & Judas Priest with some haunting echoes and an amazing guita

Booze: A Love Letter from Norfolk...

A few days ago, Boak & Bailey posted a blog entitled “ Four Beers, Three Write-offs ” in which they said that a friend had recently returned from their holiday in Norfolk and with them they brought back some bottle conditioned real ales from Norfolk.                                                                                                                   Three of these beers were “absolutely foul” and one was “just about drinkable” . “One was just about drinkable — an unassertive yeast and some pithy hops made it bland but faintly aromatic — but more by luck than intent, we suspect. Another was an accidental, gushing lambic; yet another smelled like pickled lemons rotting in a drainage ditch and tasted like unfermented wort; the fourth had the aroma of blue cheese and tasted like alcohol-free wheat beer — chewy, grainy water.” They described these beers as “These were exploitative, gift-shop, tourist-trap beers.” Boak and Bailey did not mention the na

Booze: Dragon Hall Beer Festival – The Aftermath

So, the past weekend saw Dragon Hall Beer Festival 2 and it was a massive success. We had pretty much the whole crew of volunteers back plus some new additions which was great. We’re a great team. We had about 30 cask ales and bottled beers from Norfolk as well as 4 kegged beers and 9 bottled beers from Ghent in Belgium. Basically, if you missed it you’re an absolute fool. My two favourite beers of the weekend: Van Steenberge Gulden Draak 9000 Quadrupel – A wonderful example of a quadruple. 10.5% but definitely doesn’t taste it. Got nice caramel and malty aromas. Flavours are caramel, bananas & custard, light yeast and spice. Norwich Bear Platinum Blonde – A premium bitter. Pours a lovely golden orange colour with a bubbly off-white head. Biscuity malt aromas with some citrus. Tastes citrusy (possibly lemon) with that same buscuity malt flavour. Definitely my favourite cask ale of the weekend. See Dawn ’s impression of me here:!/Nat

The Session no.63: May the fourth be with you!

The Session is a monthly event for the beer blogging community which was started by Stan Hieronymus at  Appellation Beer . On the first Friday of each month, all participating bloggers write about a predetermined topic. Each month a different blog is chosen to host The Session, choose the topic, and post a roundup of all the responses received. For more info on The Session, check out the Brookston Beer Bulletin’s  nice archive page .   This month’s The Session is hosted by Pete Brown and it’s about The Beer Moment. What does it mean to you?       Fifteen minutes until the end of work. I have formulated a plan with a few friends to meet at a pub. The clock ticks down. Awesome. It’s quarter past five. I roll a cigarette for my walk to the pub. I turn my computer off. I walk. My friends may or may not already be there, it doesn’t matter; they’ll show up eventually. I order my pint of beer. Any beer will do . It doesn’t matter. It’s that first sip