The Pain Relievaz
“Untether The Blimp.” Dogfish Records (www.dogfish.com ).
The follow-up to The Pain Relievaz’s surprisingly witty first disc, “Check Your Gravity” avoids the sophomore jinx with even bigger beats and badder rhymes. Inspirational couplet: “We may be more white than even Bryant Gumbel, but we bitch-slap the mic like it was Barney Rubble.”
The Relievaz are the alt egos of Dogfish Head prez Sam Calagione (Funkmaster I.B.U.) and lead brewer Bryan Selders (MC Lil Guy). And this time the duo’s beer and pop culture references are even more acute—especially on “Pinching Pennies,” a bass-heavy, old school jam about brewery equipment and being cheap, with some def samples.
Pair with: Dogfish Head 60 minute IPA, followed by 90 Minute IPA, followed by World Wide Stout.
The Imperial Pints
“Fizzyology.” F.B. Brothers Music (www.theimperialpints.com ).
Think of brothers Pete and Jon Connolly as the Ray and Dave Davies of modern pub rock—expect that Pete and Jon brew together at Carolina Brewing and seem to like each other. The Connollys makes music on a continuum somewhere between the Faces and the Replacements, with traces of a Southern drawl.
Other than the band name, and the pop-and-pour that opens “Crush and Run,” their songs don’t specifically relate to beer. But the rowdy spirit of the drinking life runs through almost every hard rockin’ track. Standouts include the leadoff, “Climbing Up The Walls,” with its giddy garage rock chorus and ballsy guitars; the melodically propulsive “Right On”; and “Blue Flame,” which echoes the melancholy power pop of Big Star.
Pair with: A nice long pub session of Carolina Brewing Copperline Amber Ale.
Marty Jones & the Pork Boilin’ Poor Boys
“Full Boar.” Big Bender Records (www.martyjones.net ).
“Drink up and be somebody” could be the motto of this set of honky-tonk tunes from Oskar Blues “lead singer” Marty Jones. His croon-and-shout can get a bit ragged at times but it’s tone is right for his unabashedly funny, sad, drunk and bewildered songs. And his band puts them over with a deft sway of shuffling beats and twangy guitars.
You gotta love a guy who sings “You kissed me on the mouth, I been sick ever since.” And “Now We Barely Pass (For a Couple)”—with lilting guest vocals by Mary Huff of Southern Culture on the Skids—is something like kinder, gentler Springer episode. But beer geeks will love “Match Made in Milwaukee,” a sly turnaround on the Jerry Lee classic, “What’s Made Milwaukee Famous (Made a Loser out of Me).”
Pair with: A cold six-pack of red, white and blue Dale’s Pale Ale cans.