Punknews and Food Critics Taste Punk Branded Foods

More and more, bands are developing, sponsoring and otherwise attaching themselves to consumables. Are they interested in expanding their art to the canvas of the taste bud? Are they just looking for something fun to do? Are they reaching out for extra income in this dismal economy? Are they but Icari of cuisine, concluding that music is too pedestrian a pursuit and developing a gall that says, "Ah, yes, you have conquered music -- the food world shall now be your oyster, so thusly, crack it open and take a bite!"

Nevertheless, a crop of punk and metal musicians have entered the world of gastronomy and produced a range of interesting sauces and condiments. So, being the dedicated news service that we are, Punknews acquired some of these foodstuffs for coverage. Editors John Gentile and Bryne Yancey recently met up with several notable people in the punk rock and food critic world to taste and discuss sauce based products developed by GWAR, Marky Ramone and Dexter Holland. Joining John and Bryne were international avant-garde food critic team, D'Amico & D'Amico, Philadelphia-based traditional food critics Kraig-Griffiths, hair stylist Melissa Bruce who handles the wild looks of many of the Northeast's wildest punk rockers, and the modern day version of Debbie Juvenile, punk rock socialite Jenn Platinum.

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GWAR-B-Q Sauce

Category: Barbeque Sauce
Patron: GWAR Jar description: "Out of the kitchens deep below the Antarctic fortress is your favorite metal monsters, GWAR, comes an elixir that may very well change the world. A potion with the power to transform the lowliest cut of meat into the height of gastronomic perfection! Whether you slather it on ribs, chicken, seafood or road kill, it makes all dead things taste better! The perfect blending of sweet, smoke, spice and heat, GWAR-B-Q sauce is the ultimate weapon for any grill master."

Critical Reaction: D’Amico & D’Amico: This sauce has strong flavors of alcohol, which gave it a unique, multi-leveled experience. It seems one of the base ingredients is hot pepper ale -- daring, but not overbearing. The level of spices in this sauce compliment each other and blend for a most singular reaction. For the more adventurous saucekateer.

Kraig-Griffiths: This is spicy -- not a sweet sauce. It’s tangy, vinegar-based taste is quite unique. Perhaps Oderus himself blew a load over the vat. Sweet, smoky, alcoholic. GWAR claims this makes any slab of dead meat better -- we could not agree more.

Bryne Yancey: Distinct, almost overpowering. There are strong flavors of alcohol and smoke. The onions add a nice, if somewhat unconventional texture. Notes of molasses, mustard and vinegar.

Melissa Bruce: The sauce has interesting, smoking notes upon finishing. The alcohol makes itself be known upon first contact. The whole effect is excellent on Boca burgers.

Jenn Platinum: Sweet. Tangy. Alcohol flavor. Enchanting.


Marky Ramone’s Brooklyn's Own Marinara Pasta Sauce

Category: Pasta Sauce (Marinara)
Patron: Marky Ramone Jar description: "We beat the rest / Put it to the test."

Critical Reaction: D’Amico & D’Amico: Immediately, one notices the sauce’s comforting aroma -- Naples ’82, perhaps? It tastes as good as it smells and brings back those wonderful memories with Piero on Villa, late afternoon. Or perhaps, it reminds one of mama’s own homemade. Expensive, but on special occasions the cost will surely be forgotten as those promises from so many summers past.

Kraig-Griffiths: Marky Ramone wants to be sedated. He wants to be your boyfriend. And now, he wants to provide you with his own pasta sauce. Provide he has! Judy may be a punk, but Marky’s sauce is not. Smooth!

Bryne Yancey: This sauce is less salty then the average jarred pasta sauce. It benefits from a good texture -- chunky, but not too chunky. The solid tomato flavor is evident throughout.

Melissa Bruce: Certainly, one could do worse than this artifice, and it stands heads above your average supermarket fare. But for the price, why not go for the best, or, if one is willing, do better from scratch.

Jenn Platinum: It sure is marinara sauce. Warhol-esque.


Gringo Bandito Red

Category: Hot sauce (red)
Patron: Dexter Holland Jar description: "Since 2004: I hope you enjoy the adventurous flavor and tingling tantalization of my not-so-famous pepper sauce. For over five years I have searched far and wide for the perfect combination of pepper and spices to make your next dinning experience a zinger. And I tried to make it easy on the pooper, too. Try it on tacos, burritos, eggs, pizza -- it’s like a party in your mouth, I personally guarantee it. – Dexter Holland"

Critical Reaction: D’Amico & D’Amico: This sauce is hot! Whereas many sauces simply cover the flavors of their vehicles, this sauce interacts with its platform and increases the heat of the main course itself. Not for the light-hearted, but for those who like a challenge, this sauce offers it, and rewards those who have a true understanding of this type of wild beast.

Kraig-Griffiths: The sauce has immediate heat. It knows what it wants to do and does it. Indeed, even while chewing commences, the challenge of this sauce grows and evolves. A multifaceted sauce.

Bryne Yancey: This sauce is milder than its green cousin, though the heat flavor is longer lasting. There are delightful notes of chili pepper and smoke. Deftly, there is much less of a vinegar taste than other like minded sauces.

Melissa Bruce: This sauce begins with a smoky flavor, but then, suddenly, it heats up -- and quickly. It is deceivingly hot.

Jenn Platinum: Good flavor. Delayed heat reaction. One word: Lolita.


Gringo Bandito Green

Category: Hot sauce (Green)
Patron: Dexter Holland
Jar description: Same as Gringo Bandito Red

Critical Reaction D’Amico & D’Amico: The flavor of this sauce is engaging. It not only bears its own mark, but adds new dimensions to more bland foods -- a difficult feat that grows more impressive with each new application. More pedestrian writers would say that this sauce "kicks it up a notch" but we’ll just say this: the road to hell is paved with bottles of half-used hot sauce. Not so with this. The Devil certainly would save every drop of this for his own plate.

Kraig-Griffiths: Dexter Holland wants your taste buds to come out and play. They’ll be met with a punch, instead. This sauce has an interesting flavor with a lingering heat that warms and excites the tongue even after the food itself has long since been savored.

Bryne Yancey: This sauce is very spicy. There are notes of habanero, vinegar, and chili which combine for a robust flavor. This is more immediately spicy than the red, and that’s a good thing.

Melissa Bruce: Fascinating that this sauce has a citrus-like aroma. The habanero stock gives it a real kick. Perfect for tacos. But why not use this daring sauce for something even more daring -- try it on pineapple.

Jenn Platinum: It never troubles the wolf how many the sheep may be.