Vinyl ‘n Beer: Plastic Beach by the Gorillaz

Through the years, I’ve always been a Gorillaz fan. Their albums have always taken a bit to warm up to, but once I’m there it’s a party.

I would probably get in trouble for calling Plastic Beach one of their “newer albums”. It’s hard to believe that it came out nearly a decade ago. Still, it was the album that my son chose, so it’s the album I’ll be reviewing this time around.

Speaking of their Sound

I won’t deny that their sound has morphed over the years. My wife is in that camp; she likes the old sound more. Can’t say I blame her. If you were to listen to the newest “The Now Now”, you would be forgiven for thinking it was a different band altogether.

Plastic Beach finds itself (at the time of this writing) near the middle for all their releases. It tends to sound more like early Gorillaz, but looking back, you can still get a glimpse of what became their now now sound.

Okay, let’s get cracking.

Music and Beer. A more perfect companion c

What music doesn’t sound better without a beer? Why don’t we talk about that first. This evening, the beer of choice was Hoptometrist by Roughtail Brewing. It’s a lovely IPA that, to be honest, I’m sometimes surprised I didn’t have sooner.

I like hops. I do. But it has to be in balance. We’re talking about an IPA here, not a Pale Ale. And the Hoptometrist does right by us here. There’s just enough malts to balance out that bitterness, but they through something else into the mix by adding some nice fruitiness. Oh, and let’s not forget the ABV. At 9%, I think this is safely put into the “high octane” category.

Every time I have a sip, I’m consistently surprised with how smooth it is. The hops, malts and fruit all come together to make a beer that is smooth from beginning to end. That doesn’t mean there’s no flavor. Look and you will find several layers – pine, citrus, and sometimes a honey aftertaste.

Onto the main course

Okay, so my notes on the album are a little incomplete. My son decided to go on a rampage for part of the album. If you have or had kids, you know what I’m talking about. Yea, this will be better over time, but here are the notes I was able to take.

The opening track, “Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach”, is one of my favorite openers for any album, ever. The bass line instantly grabs your attention and who doesn’t love some Snoop? My wife knew instantly who it was and the general melody and tone sets the mood for the rest of the album.

The 2nd track, “White Flag”. Man, the drums always catch my attention. There’s a great build-up to where the vocals start. Unfortunately, that’s all I have for this track. Not that it was bad, but as I stated earlier, kids happen.

This is kind of embarrassing, but the only other song that I have notes on is #5, “Stylo”. I’ve never known my son to be a Gorillaz fan, but as soon as this started he was dancing. And that didn’t stop until the song was over. Guess I know what I’m gonna be playing more of!

In Conclusion

I wouldn’t be lying if I said that the beer had an impact on my ability to take notes. But with that said, Plastic Beach still remains one of my favorite Gorillaz albums from start to finish. Yea, it may not have as many “singles” as Demon Dayz, but the the experience is much more enjoyable the whole way through.

The great album was made even better by a great beer. Hoptometrist, while delicious on its own, is more of a sipping IPA due to the ABV and so is a perfect companion for listening to music.

Until next time!

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