Friday, April 8, 2022

April 8th, 2022 - Club Ninja Vs. Unicorn


Hello and happy Friday hop heads and metal heads!  Today, I present to you an epic battle between good and evil, hops and malts, a cosmic ninja, and an angry unicorn!!  The Meista here pairing the very underrated "Club Ninja" album by the mighty Blue Öyster Cult (BÖC) and a tasty Ninja vs. Unicorn Double India Pale Ale from the fine folks at Pipework Brewing Company!!  

Album Info:

  • Artist: Blue Öyster Cult
  • Title: "Club Ninja"
  • Recorded: 1985 at Bearsville Studios in Bearsville, New York, Boogie Hotel Studios in Port Jefferson, New York, Tallysin Studios in Syosset, New York, and Warehouse Studios in New York City
  • Release date: December 10th, 1985 (10th studio album by BÖC)
  • Record company: Columbia Records
  • Production: Sandy Pearlman
  • Album cover art: Don Ivan Punchatz 
  • Personnel: Eric Bloom (lead vocals and stun guitar), Joe Bouchard (bass, guitars, and vocals), and Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser (lead guitars, lead vocals, and keyboards), Jimmy Wilcox (drums, percussion, and backing vocals), and Tommy Zvoncheck (keyboards and background vocals) 
  • Additional musicians: Kenny Aaronson (bass), Joe Caro (backing vocals), Phil Grande (guitars), Dave Immer (backing vocals), David Lucas (backing vocals), Joni Peltz (backing vocals), Thommy Price (drums), and Howard Stern (narration on "When The War Comes")
  • Musical style: Hard rock, heavy metal, pop rock
  • Sound: Although it wasn't commercially successful and is arguably one of their weaker albums, "Club Ninja" is still a hard rockin' and wonderfully diverse album with lots of great hooks, melodies, harmonies, and solos.  Every track is complex, yet engaging, and fun as hell!   Admittedly, I was not thrilled with this album when it was originally released, but over time, I've grown to really enjoy it.
  • Major themes: Life, death, war, violence, vengeance, evil, etc.
  • Tracks:  
  1. "White Flags"
  2. "Dancin' In The Ruins"
  3. "Make Rock, Not War"
  4. "Perfect Water"
  5. "Spy In The House Of The Night"
  6. "Beat 'Em Up"
  7. "When The War Comes"
  8. "Shadow Warrior"
  9. "Madness To The Method"

Brew Info:
  • Brewery: Pipework Brewing Company (Chicago, Illinois)
  • Website:
  • Brew: Ninja vs. Unicorn Double India Pale Ale
  • Style: Double India Pale Ale (DIPA) / Imperial IPA
  • Serving: 16 ounce can
  • ABV: 8.0%
  • Ingredients: 2-row, Munich, Special Roast, White Wheat, and Acidulated malts with CTZ, Centennial, Falconner's flight, Zythos, Cascade, Chinook, Falconner's 7Cs, and Simcoe hops ("Brewed with over five pounds of hops per barrel")
  • Pour: The Ninja vs. Unicorn pours a hazy, light golden-amber with lots of effervescence and a sudsy and frothy 1+ finger, off-white head with good sustain and intricate, sticky spider web lacing.
  • Nose: The nose is very fruity, citrusy, sweet, dank, and malty.  There are wonderful enticing aromas of freshly squeezed orange juice, tangerine, juicy pink grapefruit, pineapple, mango, and peach along with agave nectar, pine resin, floral hops, soft caramel, and light grains.
  • Taste: The taste of the Ninja vs. Unicorn is like the nose (citrusy, fruity, sweet, bitter, and dank), but with a little more spiciness.  There are notes of grapefruit rind, orange juice, tangerine peel, fuzzy peach, pineapple, and mango with pine, black tea, toffee, bitter herbs, and black pepper.
  • Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, the mouthfeel is sticky, oily, crisp, and bitter with a somewhat dry, earthy, and spicy finish with lingering bitterness.

Overall pairing: "Club Ninja" is a bold, fun, sonically intense album and as such, it deserves an impressive and hop-forward brew exploding with flavor... thus, the wonderful Ninja vs. Unicorn Double India Pale Ale from Pipework Brewing Company!!

Cheers and hails!!

And if you haven't done so already, check out my interview with former BÖC member, Albert Bouchard here:

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