Supergroups, like piranhas, are a very tricky species.Getting the right balance of egos is always a bit of quandry. You ever hear the story about how Roy Orbison briefly quit the Traveling Wilburys cause Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty sold his beloved Iron Cross for cocaine money? That’s the sort of internal dilemmas that alliances of powerhouses always face. Occasionally, awesomeness prevails (like CSN&Y and the Justice League) and more often not (say Damn Yankees and the Superfriends).
Beer supergroups tend to be the same way…sometimes great, sometimes pretentious, sometimes fun, sometimes just unnecessary. Stone, Stillwater, and Evil Twin’s (boy, that sounds like a shitty law firm) “Black Smoke Saison” probably falls somewhere between great, pretentious, fun, and unnecessary….
“The Perfect Crime” (yes, it uses “quotation marks” sigh) is anything but perfect. However, it isn’t really a crime either. It’s spicy and fun. It’s light. It’s not really a saison nor smoked contrary the bottle’s description. Maybe, a touch of roastiness and tartness, but not like I pictured. A bit of a muddled mess. But, heck, it’s definitely something different, so I can dig it. Sort of like finding a Girlscout Cookie in your pocket. A little strange, not going to make your day, but, hell, it ain’t bad thing either. Just like how I feel about another collaboration…Hindu Love Gods was kind of an unexpected band and album. REM subtracts Stipey, adds Warren Zevon, and makes an album of mostly romping covers. At time when Zevon was probably falling off the radar a bit and REM was taking themselves too seriously, this record did the trick. It sounds pretty much like these dudes got drunk (probably not on smoked saisons) and decided “Raspberry Beret” would sound awesome great played loud, rough, and fast. Turns out they were right.
The beer and record share a looseness, a spiciness, and the feeling that hey, it’s good enough for us. Sure, not the best individual effort of the brewers or the musicians, but they don’t give a damn. Neither should you. So, I say fraternize greatness. Bring on the collusion of the gods. What’s gonna work? Teamwork. Or maybe the whole be less than the sum of parts. Either way, let’s drink.