Pouring with a orange-brown to mahogany coloration, Seedstock (Denver)’s Fredersdorker immediately yields hints of grain and wheat in its initial bouquet. The Fredersdorfer style is a call back to the first half of the 19th century; this German style links together sweetness (from molasses) with a bit of a spicy, peppery hop bite. Hitting at a 7.5% ABV, this brew will keep one warm during the last vestiges of winter while constantly refreshing one’s palette. There’s a layered approach that dominates here, so with each subsequent sip one will experience different facets of the Fredersdorfer as it shifts and changes in one’s mouth. The robustness of the materials included here ensure that the Fredersdorfer maintains its distinctive flavor profile throughout a session. This means that it kept its zing even an hour after we initially cracked our crowler.
Pairing Seedstock’s Fredersdorfer with a variety of cuisines – strongly-flavored style like a curry, Tandoori chicken, or larb – would add further complexity to an already fascinating effort. The strength of the wheat and hop elements here match well with lamb and beef as well.
Seedstock’s desire to bring back extinct beer styles should be applauded as it creates an alternative to the toolbox of styles many breweries utilize (e.g. stout, red, pilsner, ipa, brown ale). Just take their current lineup – aside from a pilsner, an amber, and a kolsch, Seedstock has tackled a pair of unique styles in a Broyhan and a Bohemian Barn Beer (a self-professed callback to their great-grandfathers). For a full run down of the beers that Seedstock is currently offering, check out their main domain or stock by their Denver brewery. Can’t argue with specials like a 3 for $24 crowler, that’s for sure.
During Wake Me Up, Ryan Black is able to call back to the alt-rock of the 1990s. With nods to the Goo Goo Dolls and The Wallflowers, Black will interest listeners; a fuzzy guitar lays bold strokes down while the on-point drumming keeps the composition moving at a solid pace. Ryan’s voice is special here in that it tells an emotion-packed narrative while blending in well with the guitar lines. There’s an organicness to Wake Me Up that represents the perfect counterpoint to the distortion-heavy front side of the song. Wake Me Up’s melodies will stick with listeners long after the track ceases to play.
Roses From Blood is an effort that looks back to the high-water mark of 1990s-goth, with hints of Black Tape for a Blue Girl and Apocalyptica meshing well alongisde breakneck industrial / electronic composition. This track hurtles along in a deceptively fast fashion. Smart usage of similar string lines establish a soundscape that could easily fill in for your favrotie cyberpunk novel. By linking these styles to a traditional / new age foundation, tAngerinecAt is able to impress a certain sort of timeliness into the effort. The track may stretch out over four-plus minutes but the pacing makes it feel as if it is half of that.
On Magic, Keldamuzik is able to blend together a bit of funk and 1990s R&B into a modern form of EDM. These calls to disparate musical styles are coordinated into a cohesive entity, ensuring that fans are out representing the performer on the dance floor. Keldamuzik is able to pull double duty in telling a cogent story as well as bolstering the sequenced beats and authoritative percussion that peek through on this composition. Magic’s final minute allows the synth line to experiment in fun and expansive ways, providing listeners with a bit of a boost to keep them firmly locked in until Keldamuzik finishes things up.
World is Burning is a fun blend of styles. Hints of reggae and drum n bass unite to make something eclectic. The number of distinct shifts in tempo and genres incorporated here will immediately draw attention to both the musical and lyrical sides of the track. The number of current events that spell doom for the world – global warming and pollution are but a few – are given bold highlighting due to the unique path that is crafted here. World Is Burning is a break-neck speed trip through the Earth’s woes, married to some intense and globe-spanning musical approaches. Simply put, Kēvens’s latest is one of the best compositions we’ve heard in 2020.
On Green, Greg Hoy & The Boys create a straight-forward rock track that incorporates hints of 1960s Merseybeat, The Descendents, and Franz Ferdinand Vocals echo boldly out at the top of the song, while the chorus brings infectious vocals alongside taut instrumentation. The bass / drum interactions are punctuated quite nicely through sizzling guitar work. These instruments are able to ratchet up the song’s momentum, ensuring that listeners are firmly planted on the edges of their seats. Cutting things off before the three-minute mark, Greg Hoy & The Boys are able to make a tremendous statement and stoke fan interest considerably.
Go For It is a timeless rock track that takes up hints of U2, 1990s British alternative rock, and hints of acts like The Black Crowes for inspiration. Tying together these disparate elements are Hollis’s inimitable vocals, exuding charisma while pulling double duty as another source of harmony for this track. Holistic in its approach, Go For It is one of those efforts that will have listeners singing along long after it ceases too play. The guitar / drum / vox dynamic that is fostered over the course of the composition further amps up the replay value of this cut.
Soul Sister Revolution, the latest effort from Rockie Brown has a solid blend of 1990s-infused rock and assertive vocals. A rich emotion is weaved through this composition; the guitar / drum dynamic lays a solid foundation upon which Rockie’s vocals can soar. The bit of gospel chorus that is presented here adds further replay value to the composition. Rockie Brown’s bright sound and confidence separates Soul Sister Revolution from other songs seeking airplay and rotation. Check out the video for Soul Sister Revolution and let us know what you think about Rockie Brown in the comment section below.
Joe, the first track on Mike Bertini’s new extended play Thing Called Life is a fun effort that calls back to the college rock of the middle 1990s. This means that there are hints of Keller Williams and Dave Matthews that can be discerned here; tremendously amount of soul and positive vibes issue forth here as Mike creates a thoughtful composition. There’s a bit of material here for those that want something interesting from the instrumental side of things too; the dynamic that the bass, guitar, and drums have here keep fans engaged through this release’s early reaches.
Find My Way is a fun college vibey sort of rock track+. This time around, there’s a hint of Semisonic, Third Eye Blind, and a whole hell of a lot of charisma exerted by Bertini. The sizzling guitar lines that are interspersed through Find My Way further hammers home how talented the instrumental side of things are during this release. Thing Called Life is funkier and more sultry. The passion here comes off the vox and the guitars in waves. There’s an emotional section that varies between both voice and instruments before Bertini moves back to the bubbly, infectious chorus.
World of Lies slows things up as Bertini moves more into a Losing My Religion-era R.E.M. sound. It’s a bold move at this point, but the gambit pays off – the album is given additional oomph at this point.
We previously covered Those Nights in September. This coda for Thing Called Life hits a number of the marks that Bertini addressed previously on this extended play with an eye for the different paths that he may ultimately take in the follow-up to this release. For samples of Bertini’s music and a full run down of Mike’s biography, give his domain a spin.
Top Track: World of Lies
Mike Bertini – ‘Thing Called Life’ / 2020 Self Released / 5 Tracks / Domain / Facebook /
On Iconic, Spitten Image is able to lay out some introspective bars as a haunting backing beat adds further gravity to each lyric. There’s a smart tack taken with the production here as each side (vocal / instrumental) recedes a bit to allow the other part ample time to shine. The straight-forward buckshot that Spitten Image fires here is honest and earnest, coming forth as utterly unique in an era where seemingly every rapper apes individuals that came before them. The complexity of Spitten Image’s delivery during Iconic is impressive; no matter the hurtles he makes it through, the resulting track ends that much stronger as a result. Peep out Iconic and let us know what you think.