If you know me in person at all, you will know that as much as I love a good beer, and I love a good record, I also love a good beard. This review is going to be as light-hearted as this record, but sometimes that’s what you need. We can’t be serious and beard-free all the time.
THE RECORD: The Beards- Having A Beard Is The New Not Having A Beard– 2012
I think I fell in love with The Beards before I even listened to their record. They are exactly what you think they are; a band of bearded men that writes songs about such. It should go without saying that I discovered this band through the world of college radio, where a record such as this one can totally be embraced. Yes, they are ridiculous. But listen to this record and try not to smile. It’s impossible. And more times than not, these are the records that you need, like I said earlier about this review. So here we go.
Album opener, “I’m In The Mood For Beards” is a rocker about being in the mood. Not just for making love. But making sweet, sweet BEARDED love. If you weren’t sure, skip ahead to track 4, “You Should Consider Having Sex With A Bearded Man”. Lead by synths and power chords and I think there’s a part where they rhyme “man” with “mammary gland”. Also “watering can”. This might be the most ridiculous song on the album, which is quite a feat if you listen to the whole thing.
Now, if you decided to make a negative consideration to aforementioned song, track 6 “Still Got My Beard” is a bluesy answer to the heartbreak and general sadness of life. It sort of sounds like a Tom Waits song, actually. You might have just received a Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis, but this song puts it all into perspective. You still got a beard. Alright. Maybe that was reaching a bit.
Now onto a serious matter. “This Beard Stays” is about the plight of someone who is urged to shave their beard to enter the workforce. It’s practically a political anthem. I can totally get behind these lyrics. I don’t think you should be prejudiced by anything when trying to get a job. Gender, age, tattoos, or BEARDS.
Finally, the album closer “Beard Related Song Number 39”, I am pretty sure is a pirate song. It definitely sounds like they are marching and banging on, albeit well-tuned, pots.
THE BREW: Northcoast- Old Rasputin
I forget how much I really enjoy Northcoast’s beers. Brother Thelonious, their belgian abbey-style ale, is my favorite. But Old Rasputin comes close behind. This old-fashioned Russian Imperial stout is dark, with a hint of sweetness. Roasted malts on the nose and taste make it full-bodied and delicious. Pours black as night with a thick, fluffy head. Perfect for a cold winter day.
THE PAIRING: Sometimes you need to judge a book (or brew) by its cover. The way I see it is that brewing companies make cool labels for a reason. They draw in your attention to make you want to try something. And I am more than willing to fall for this marketing, especially when consuming beer. So I chose Old Rasputin to pair with the Beards’ record because it has a wonderful beard on the cover. It’s also a heavy, dark, Russian Imperial stout. I feel like Russians often have great beards.
The label says “A sincere friend is not born instantly.” in Russian. A sincere beard is not born instantly, either.