Thursday, January 30, 2020

January 30th, 2020 - Shades Of A Soulful Rex

Good evening rockers and craft brew drinkers!  The Meista here with a rockin' pairing for ya tonight... Living Colour's amazing "Shade" and a Soul Rex Double India Pale Ale from Level Crossing Brewing Company! 

Album Info:
  • Artist: Living Colour
  • Title: "Shade"
  • Recorded: 2013 through 2017 at various studios
  • Release date: Septermber 8th, 2017 (6th studio album by Living Colour)
  • Record company: Megaforce Records
  • Production: Andre Betts
  • Album cover art: Anike Robinson
  • Personnel: Will Calhoun (drums and backing vocals), Corey Glover (lead and backing vocals), "Burnin'" Vernon Reid (electric and acoustic guitars, and backing vocals), and Doug Wimbish (bass and backing vocals)
  • Additional musicians: Andre Betts (keyboards and programming), Marc Cary (organ), George Clinton (backing vocals), Roosevelt Collier (lap steel guitar), Jason Craig (backing vocals), Bernard Fowler (backing vocals), Bernard Hawkins (keyboards, piano, programming, and sound effects), Kendra Jones (backing vocals), Darly "Malachi" Thomas Jr. (backing vocals), Shelley Nicole (backing vocals), Martha Redbone (backing vocals), Big Sam Williams (trombone)
  • Musical style: Hard rock with elements of heavy metal, blues, funk, R&B, jazz, and hip hop
  • Sound: Complex, challenging, and multifaceted, "Shades" is one of those albums that grabs you from the opening notes and won't let go!  It is powerful, soulful, rocking, and pure electricity!  Reid's guitar work is mind-blowing!  Glover's vocals brilliantly combine soul, metal, and punk emotional honesty!  And Calhoun and Wimbish are a rhythmic force to be reckoned with!  Of the album, Glover stated: "Part of the process was that we weren't going to compromise on a lot of stuff. There were some sonic things that we weren't going to compromise on; we needed to get it right. It took long enough, so hopefully it's right. I mean, we'll still have to fix things — 'right' to us is that you don't go, 'Uh, if only I had done this.' At the same time, there's something about discovering something as you play it that changes it and that makes the difference between the recorded version and the live version."
  • Major themes: Socially and emotionally charged, themes on the album include anger, history, the blues, race relations, racism, poverty, gun violence, pride, love, regret, life, death, perseverance, honesty, hope, etc. 
  • Tracks:   
  1. "Freedom Of Expression (F.O.X.)
  2. "Preachin' Blues" (Robert Johnson cover)
  3. "Come On"
  4. "Program"
  5. "Who Shot Ya?" (The Notorious B.I.G. cover)
  6. "Always Wrong"
  7. "Blak Out"
  8. "Pattern In Time"
  9. "Who's That"
  10. "Glass Teeth"
  11. "Invisible"
  12. "Inner City Blues" (Marvin Gaye cover)
  13. "Two Sides"

    Brew Info:
  • Brewery: Level Crossing Brewing Company (Salt Lake City, Utah)
  • Website:
  • Brew: Soul Rex Double India Pale Ale
  • Style: Double India Pale Ale (DIPA)
  • Serving: 16 ounce can
  • ABV: 8.4% 
  • IBUs: 120
  • Ingredients: Briess Pale, Briess Synergy Select Pilsen, and Crystal 30 malts along with Strata, Ekuanot, and Azacca hops
  • Pour: The Soul Rex pours a very cloudy golden-amber with a 1-finger, off-white foamy head with good sustain and intricate lacing.
  • Nose: The nose is citrusy, fruity, malty, herbal, and floral.  There are aromas of grapefruit rind, orange zest, lemon zest, melon, wild flowers, hearty multi-grain bread, black tea, and burnt toffee.
  • Taste: The taste of the Soul Rex follows the nose and is characterized by citrusy, fruity, malty, herbal and bitter flavors.  There are notes of grapefruit, orange pith, tangerine, sweet melon, pineapple, black tea, bitter herbs, biscuit, and sweet caramel/toffee.
  • Mouthfeel: Medium to full-bodied with moderate carbonation, the mouthfeel is with a dry, bitter finish. 

Overall pairing:  The Level Crossing Soul Rex is a very complex, punchy, and tasty brew... great for the funky, bluesy, hard rockin' onslaught that is Living Colour!!  Those crisp, complex, hoppy notes pair so very well with the soulful, yet hard hitting punch of the truly brilliant and underrated "Shade"!


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