Saturday, December 8, 2012

December 8th, 2012 - It Takes A Lot Of Beers

Good evening true brews and tunes believers!  The Meista here with another pairing for ya tonight!  I have a question for ya: what do you get when you take legendary guitar monster Pat Travers, legendary drum monster Carmine Appice, and then throw in some tasty IPA for good measure?  You get one bad-ass, hard-rocking good evening my friends!!  That's right... I'm pairing Travers and Appice's 2004 kickin' album, "It Takes A Lot Of Balls" with Pyramid Brewing Company's Thunderhead IPA.

Eight years ago two profoundly talented gentlemen got together and put out a pure and honest hard rock album in the tradition of bands like Humble Pie, Led Zeppelin, and Nazareth.  Those two gentlemen: Pat Travers, guitarist and band leader of the '70s powerhouse Pat Travers Band and drummer extraordinaire, Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge, Rod Stewart, Pat Travers Band, Blue Murder, King Kobra, etc.).  The album: "It Takes A Lot Of Balls."  They were joined by Uriah Duffy on bass and T.M. Stevens on bass and vocals on the very funky and very sexy, "Gotta Have Ya."  This is gritty, aggressive, funky, and sometimes purposely humorous stuff.  Traver's guitar work is intense, emotional, bluesy, heavy, and honest.  I could listen to this man's work for hours!  He hits you right between the eyes, then gives you a kiss, then kicks you in balls!  And speaking of hitting you right between the eyes, get a load of Appice!  Always true to form, Appice is a mofo beast on the drum kit... intensely powerful, but always precise and always very musical.  The extra bonus on this album is the fact that he shares vocals with Travers!  Songs like "Better From A Distance," Taken (The Iguana Song)," "Stand Up," "I Can't Let You Go," "Rock Me," "Never Saw It Comin'," and "Keep On Rockin'" all feel like songs from the early to mid-1970s... pure, unadulterated rock and roll!  The acoustic work on "Hey You" is simply magical as well as the almost tribal drumming on "Can't Escape The Fire."  Not to simplify this album in any way, but I think in some regards you can sum up the feel of the album in a few lines from the great rocker, "I Don't Care": "but I like sex and margaritas/And I never do what I am told/Oh no, no... I never do what I am told/Another day gone by/And I don't care."

Pyramid's Thunderhead IPA is a surprisingly interesting and un-traditional India Pale Ale with a rocking kick.  And as the name denotes (and in the tradition of Travers and Appice), this one hits you right between the eyes.  It pours a transparent, golden amber with a substantial and foamy head with strong lacing.  The nose is rather pungent... skunky and sharp with notes of sourdough and summer grass... very floral.  The flavor follows the same suit. There are the traditional sharp and bitter hop flavors from those Pacific Northwest hops, but there's a sweetness and sourness element along with the usual organic notes.  There's even an slight smokiness to the flavor.  It really is a bit funky.  Coming in at 6.7% ABV, there's some nice bite to this beer as well. It finishes very dry with a bitter, but fulfilling aftertaste.  Definitely a good, stong ale for rocking out with Mr. Travers and Mr. Appice!

Check out Thunderhead IPA and all of Pyramid's great beers at and make sure you find a copy of "It Takes A Lot Of Balls" from SPV Records:

Good night brothas and sistas!!  The Meista wishes you a great one filled with cheers, beers, great tunes, and maybe a little lovin' if you are so lucky!!  :)

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