Coffee & Guitars: Whip’s Pacific Blend Dark Roast

Coffee is one of my greatest passions. To be honest, there are few things in my life I can’t live without – my wife, music, beer, and coffee. I guess writing should be somewhere on that list too, huh? To be able to combine two of my favorite things into one column is a dream come true. Hell, I was so excited for this new venture that I bought a new coffee grinder, so you know things are pretty serious.

On that note, welcome to Coffee & Guitars, a new coffee review column, where I, you guessed it, drink coffee and listen to music, then write about it. So without further ado, let’s get intro what I’m drinking and listening this right now.

Currently drinking: Whip’s Pacific Blend Dark Roast
Currently jamming: Dohny Jep – L.U.S.T.

A note from Michael “Whip” Wilton…‘Being from Seattle, I’m used to drinking some of the best coffee in the U.S. Almost everyone drinks coffee here – it’s part of our culture. I’m not saying I’m a connoisseur, but I know what I like. Whip’s Pacific Blend is an Italian Roast that’s not too dark, so it’s perfect for drip machines but bold enough for espresso machines. It’s a smooth, balanced blend that’s not heavy without a bitter aftertaste. Drink it black or add your favorite creamer or sweetener for the perfect cup that rocks your morning!”

Whip’s Pacific Blend pretty much is what it says it is – ‘an Italian roast that’s not too dark.’ It’s incredibly smooth and balanced with light roasted notes, and works just as well with or without cream and sugar. Even if you drop in some French Vanilla creamer as my wife did, this blend still stands up and shines through the additional flavor. I would call this an approachable dark roast. If you’re someone looking to venture down the path of bolder coffees, this is a good place to start.

Rock’D Coffee and Caffe D’arte have also partnered on other signature blends from some names you may have heard of – Michael Wilton of Queensryche and Tim Ripper Owens, formerly of Judas Priest. Rock’d Coffee Co will also be bringing you more signature artist blends in the future.

For more information, please visit www.rockdcoffeeco.com.

Coffee & Guitars: PKING’s 333rd Road Dawg Blend

Coffee is one of my greatest passions. To be honest, there are few things in my life I can’t live without – my wife, music, beer, and coffee. I guess writing should be somewhere on that list too, huh? To be able to combine two of my favorite things into one column is a dream come true. Hell, I was so excited for this new venture that I bought a new coffee grinder, so you know things are pretty serious.

On that note, welcome to Coffee & Guitars, a new coffee review column, where I, you guessed it, drink coffee and listen to music, then write about it. So without further ado, let’s get intro what I’m drinking and listening this right now.

Currently drinking: PKing’s 333rd Road Dawg Blend (Dark Roast)
Currently jamming: And The Sky Darkened – Between Ghosts

This roast is brought to you in the true spirit of rock n’ roll by the folks behind the scene, The Road Dawgs. Pushing boundaries, irritating the neighbors, and bringing forth the beast in you. Just what you’re looking for in your morning cup or throughout your day. It’s time to awaken your senses and brew it up!!!

Brought to you by the fine folks at Rock’D Coffee and Caffe D’arte, PKing’s 333rd Road Dawg Blend is some of the better coffee I’ve had the opportunity to put in my mug lately. It’s rich and bold with heavy notes of roast and a touch of caramel. The roast notes aren’t as over the top as some of the heavier dark roasts out there, which makes this a winner in my book. There’s no bitterness to speak of, and each sip is as savory as the last. This is a proper cup of coffee that just as solid black as it is with a dab of cream and sugar.

Rock’D Coffee and Caffe D’arte have also partnered on other signature blends from some names you may have heard of – Michael Wilton of Queensryche and Tim Ripper Owens, formerly of Judas Priest. Rock’d Coffee Co will also be bringing you more signature artist blends in the future.

For more information, please visit www.rockdcoffeeco.com.

VV – “Gothica Fennica Vol. 1” (Heartagram Ltd)

It has been three very long years since the music of Finnish love metallers H.I.M. regularly graced the airwaves. Whether you knew the band as a fan or recognized them from an episode of Viva La Bam, chances are, you know the songs – “Join Me In Death,” “Killing Loneliness,” “Buried Alive By Love” and “The Funeral of Hearts,” to name a few. And you know the voice – frontman Ville Valo, who is back with a new solo project, VV, and their debut release Gothica Fennica Vol. 1. From the maiden moments of opener “Salute the Sanguine,” the most upbeat of the trio of offerings on Gothica Fennica Vol. 1, the all-too-familial tones of Valo open the memory floodgates as vivid melodies swathed in gothic soundscapes transport you back to a time when you couldn’t turn on rock radio without hearing “Wings of a Butterfly” and you were probably waiting in line at your local Media Play to buy a copy of Dark Light. The following “Run Away From the Sun” sounds plucked directly from the recording sessions of Razorblade Romance, an emotional slow burner that will remind you why you loved H.I.M. Closer “Saturnine Saturnalia” tempers the pace even more, showcasing just how brilliant Valo’s impassioned, delicate vocal work truly is. Gothica Fennica Vol. 1 is the perfect teaser for what is hopefully more new music to come from Ville Valo and his VV project.

Go Download: “Run Away From the Sun”

Another Day Dawns – “Stranger”

Another Day Dawns – “Stranger”

Building on last year’s A Different Life EP, Pennsylvania hard-rockers Another Day Dawns shine brightest on new EP Stranger when they stay in their wheelhouse; guitar-driven modern rock laced with nu-metal nuances (“Beautiful Suicide” is a great example of what this band is capable of, “Am I” follows suit with huge hooks and striking leads). Elsewhere on Stranger, “Taste of Heaven” falls far short of memorable, trending dangerously close to vanilla butt-rock (though the guitar solo is pretty tasty) and “Never Okay” does its job to fill the album’s prerequisite rock ballad quotient with plenty of acoustic guitars and tortured lines like ‘no one knows the other side, the other side of me, I buried in my backyard, it’s buried six feet deep.’ Closer “Forgot Me Not” rights the ship after a short detour and gets Stranger back on track as the band returns to the same pummeling riffs and powerful vocals from Dakota Sean that opened the EP to such aplomb. There are some solid grooves to be had on Stranger.

Go Download: “Beautiful Suicide”

Fake Figures – “We Are The Dead” (War Against Records)

Fake Figures – We Are The Dead (War Against Records)

There is an air of recklessness and inherent danger lurking on Fake Figures latest EP We Are The Dead; careening riffs abound with reckless abandon as you hear the urgency in every note, evident right from the jump on “Hole In The Sky,” an critical blast of rock and roll bliss. Former Hotwire vocalist Rus Martin, one of the best unsung nu-metal voices in my personal opinion, leads the charge on the chugging “You’re Distant,” a driving highlight of We Are The Dead. Things amp up on “Bury the Hatchet,” thanks to a potent combination of swift guitar work from Atreyu’s Travis Miguel and former Scars of Tomorrow low end Bob Bradley, and heightened tempos, “Gone Again” is a ready-made single capped off with a memorable hook and the closing title track, which features Jonah Matranga of the almighty Far, leaves an indelible mark on the listener. The vocal dynamic between Martin and Matranga is an aural treat to behold as the two voices work in perfect harmony. We Are The Dead is yet another awesome EP from Fake Figures, though, I think I speak for everyone when I say, we’ll take a full length next, just so long as it doesn’t take another five years for more new music. Just saying.

Go Download: “Bury The Hatchet”