Bare Tree Barley Wine Style Weiss Beer (2015 Vintage)

A number of the previous experiences that NeuFutur had with barleywines were not overly impressive. The beer tasted grainy and boozy without much in the way of other flavors that came into focus. It was very nearly enough to go and keep us from purchasing any other beers in that style. We received a bottle of the 2015 edition of Two Brothers’ Bare Tree, having such a dense and detailed set of experiences with the beer that we have to go back and taste test other efforts in the style. Continue reading “Bare Tree Barley Wine Style Weiss Beer (2015 Vintage)”

Dandies All Natural Marshmellows

Many times the type and brand of a marshmallow is not considered at all by those looking to purchase a bag. The typical assumption is that all marshmallows are created (and as a result) taste the same. We had our perceptions permanently changed when we received a bag of Dandies All Natural Marshmallows, which are non-GMO, vegan, and gluten free.

At first, I can honestly say I was not the biggest fan of Dandies; they had a different sort of flavor to them but after eating a few, I grew to love the depth of flavor and the continued softness of the product in excess of other marshmallows that are on the market. These marshmallows have a velvety mouthfeel and stay away from the chalkiness that is typically present with marshmallows.

Due to the way Dandies Marshmellows are made, they are able to stay fresh for much longer than other products on the market. I was able to have a bag open over the course of a week without them firming up or otherwise getting inedible. As a result there is absolutely no reason to go back to the traditional bland and boring marshmallows that has been the common experience of most Americans. They would do well alone or included in any sort of dish that contains the sweets. We want to go and include them when we create our S’mores as they do much to cut some of the overly sweets chocolate elements that are typically present. For more information and recipes about how one can utilize Dandies, visit their main domain.  Dandies Marshmellows come in normal and mini sizes, with flavored variants of their line available on an irregular basis (a pumpkin flavor was released last fall/winter).

Rating 9.0/10

Dandies All Natural Marshmellows /  / /

Ray Goren – “Save My Soul” EP

Stop refreshes The Tubes, Van Halen, and Thin Lizzy into a chunky, funky, second coming of blues-rock bands. By pulling in other approaches (listeners can hear hints of progressive rock and acts as wide-reaching as The Black Crowes, Jane’s Addiction, and Alice in Chains), Goren is able to ensure that listeners on firmly on the edges of their seats through the entirety of the Save My Soul EP. The titular single from Save My Soul is a beautiful mass of swirling guitars, heavy drums, and a wall of fuzz that comes forth as an expansion of AWOLNATION, Jet, and The White Stripes. The sheer talent and braggadocio that is experienced on this track makes Ray Goren a perfect fit for rock rotation; few artists are able to wail so intensely on a guitar and come forth with such a pop-friendly set of vocals.

I Need You Here To Stay is the penultimate composition on the Save My Soul EP, and may be our favorite track on the disc. The guitars build off of the foundation of Jim Hendrix, Santana, and Tom Scholz while the drums and bass give the track a deep, dense sound that will resound loudly in listeners’ ears long after the final strains of the release have ceased. Rise Together is a deceptive track in that it has a very catchy exterior but an arrangement that will appease even the most discerning listener. Challenging popular conceptions concerning time signatures and how intricate a rock track can be and still gain airplay, Goren is able to make something that is unmatched in current music. There is no ceiling for this young performer.

Top Tracks: I Need You Here To Stay, Save My Soul

Rating: 9.0/10

Ray Goren – “Save My Soul” EP / 2016 Self / 6 Tracks / / /

Athena – Ready for the Sun Part 1 CD Review

You Bring Me Luck is a perfectly-polished bit of pop that has a timeless feel to it; Athena is able to showcase tremendous amounts of personality with a backing instrumentation that is that the top of their game. Everything to Me has hints of alternative rock interspersed through it, with Athena’s vocals pulling double duty in both weaving the narrative as well as contributing to the lush instrumentation of the track.


Stronger is one of the more delicate compositions on this EP, eliciting comparisons to Sara Bareilles and Yael Naim. The deliberate tack taken here is different from that heard on preceding efforts, showcasing a depth to Athena’s music that is unparalleled in the singer-songwriter genre. The track is topped with a cherry with a rising action and clap response that is particularly delectable.

The whistling that begins Autopilot stands out as another bold step taken; after listeners’ attentions are brought to the composition, a slinkier and more sultry set of vocals succeed by a refreshing of the bold path blazed by performers like Natalie Cole and Sixpence None The Richer.

All of You is the final part of this EP, providing fans with a rare look into the raw emotion and power of Athena. Little more is needed during this track than a piano to lay down the lightest of trappings upon which Athena can weave a tale as rich as anything crafted by Leonard Cohen or Martha Wainwright. The first part of Athena’s Ready for the Sun is out on May 17th; if you are a fan of classically talented musicians that are able to continually challenge and innovate on their releases, pick up this recording.

Top Tracks: You Bring Me Luck, Everything to Me

Rating: 8.3/10

Athena – Ready for the Sun CD Review / 2016 Self / 5 Tracks / / /


New Madrid – magnetkingmagnetqueen (CD)

They may be less than two years removed from their last record, Sunswimmer, but the Athens, GA band New Madrid have grown substantially confidant in that time. Their latest, magnetkingmagnetqueen, is a far more ambitious record, more experimental and it works – most of the time.

The vocals may get a little lost in the swirl of guitars, (especially on a song like the sonically brutal “Shades”) but the fact that the band is willing to try new sounds and not simply replicate the music from their well-received debut is impressive and more often than not, the gamble plays off. Drawing on influences from bands as diverse as Televison and The Tubes and even Athens elder statesmen like Pylon and IRS-era R.E.M., New Madrid boasts an eclectic sound.

While there are plenty of highlights on the record, songs like the trippy “Dress Up” and “Dugout,” with its charming Michael Stipe-esque nonsensical lyrics, stand out a just little bit higher than the others. An impressive step in a new direction.
New Madrid – magnetkingmagnetqueen/15 tracks/Normaltown Records/2016 / / /


Sometimes Julie – Bright Side of the Line

Bright Side of the Line is the latest release from San Diego’s Sometimes Julie; the album starts out with the polished and catchy introduction, Emily. The track does a tremendous job at inviting listeners in, while the disc’s second effort, the titular Bright Side of the Line, is an impressive effort. The impassioned vocals link up with sizzling guitar work and on-point drumming to make for something that will stick in listeners’ minds long after the album has ceased to play. The track does a great job in including pieces that fans of rock, pop, and even country genres can appreciate. Continue reading “Sometimes Julie – Bright Side of the Line”

Heiress to Atlas – Bullet

Bullet, the latest effort from Heiress to Atlas includes bits of Icona Pop and La Roux. The rich vocals provide a theme for the track as well as unite with the percussion and synths to create something that will tattoo its melodies deep into the psyche of listeners. The slight separation between the time signatures of the instrumentation and the vocals keeps things interesting from the beginning to the end.

The guitar and drums punch through the second half of the composition, keeping the energy high until the final notes of the song. Heiress to Atlas has made a tremendously catchy song in Bullet, one that will resound with listeners throughout the spring and into the summer.

Heiress to Atlas – Bullet / 2016 / / /

Beckwith – Can’t Stop Loving You

Can’t Stop Loving You, the latest single by London’s Beckwith, is a touching composition that soars due to strong vocals and a production that does tremendous work utilizing instrumentation, vocals, and the space in-between them.

Touches and improves upon the framework of artists like Ed Sheeran and John Mayer, with hints of an earlier alt-rock tradition (Counting Crows, Soul Asylum) that are peppered through the single. With Can’t Stop Loving You, Beckwith creates a memorable composition that will stick with listeners long after the composition has ceased. By tying together a bevy of distinct musical genres, Beckwith has transcended a pigeon-hole mentality endemic in pop music to make one of our favorite cuts this year.

Beckwith – Can’t Stop Loving You / /

Brainstream SOI Handbag / Purse Light

There are a number of problems with having a large purse. Some of these issues arise from the fact that with the larger purses it becomes difficult if not outright impossible to locate every item that is placed inside. Particularly problematic are those smaller items including lipstick and other forms of makeup but even keys can fall present to this concern.
Continue reading “Brainstream SOI Handbag / Purse Light”