Friday, August 9, 2013

August 9th, 2013 - Brother David goes Thrak, B'boom, and Vrooom Vrooom!

Good afternoon!  The Meista here today pairing King Crimson's "THRAK" and a Brother David's Double Abbey Style Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company out of California.

Brother David's Double Abbey Style Ale is a rich, complex, and malty ale with spicy and phenolic elements in the style of Belgian Trappist Monk "abbey dubbels."  Poured into a frosted schooner, the color displays a deep mahogany with a thin, tan, and quickly dissipating head that leaves little trace of its presence.  The nose is sweet and slightly spicy with subtle ester notes as well as heavier bready notes.  Aromas of brown sugar, molasses, malt, and yeast mingle with dark fruits and cloves and an ever so slight hint of banana.  The flavors of this dark/strong Belgian-style ale are sweet, tangy, malty, complex, and very engaging.  There are notes of sweet toffee and dark fruits like raisin, plum, fig, and black cherry on the front end.  Like any good dark Belgian, Brother David's has that Tootsie Roll element to flavor.  There's an almost sherry-like booziness in the middle and a dry, malty finish with some wonderful spiciness as well... clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, and black pepper on the tail-end, which becomes more prevalent as it warms.

A rich and complex ale deserves and equally rich and complex album.  "THRAK" is the eleventh studio release by experimental art rock/prog-rock forefathers, King Crimson and was released in 1995.  "THRAK" was recorded in a "double trio" format, meaning two guitar players, two bass players, and two drummers/percussionists.  Those players are as follows:
  • Robert Fripp – lead and rhythm guitars, mellotron
  • Adrian Belew – lead and rhythm guitars, lead vocals
  • Tony Levin – bass guitar, Stick, electric upright bass, backing vocals
  • Trey Gunn – Stick, backing vocals
  • Bill Bruford – drums, percussion
  • Pat Mastelotto – drums, percussion

  • Musically and lyrically, "THRAK" is wonderfully rich journey of various sounds, styles, and influences.  The album is balanced by mesmerizing instrumental soundscapes, powerful and heavy rockers, and great vocal deliveries by Belew.  Songs like "Coda: Marine 475," "Dinosaur," "Walking On Air," "Thrak," "Inner Garden I and II," "People," "Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream," and "Vrooom Vrooom" are masterfully crafted, engaging amazements!  Fripp's guitar work (as always) is intricate genius!  The depth of bass work by Levin and Gunn is as close to perfect as I've ever heard.  And Bruford and Mastelotto effortlessly move from swinging Jazz to avante garde experimentation to heavy rocking.  And all the while, Mr. Belew delivers poetically humorous and melancholy lyrics along with his unique guitar style.  A truly breathtaking delivery by these legendary players!

    If you dig Belgian dark ales, you need to grab yourself a bottle of Brother David's Double Abbey Style Ale.... you won't be sorry!  And if you dig brilliant, artistic, and thought-provoking musicianship, you need to own "THRAK" by King Crimson!


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