To someone outside the scene, someone who isn’t hip, Liquid Death’s water-in-a-can packaging might appear to be a gimmick. Their marketing overtly try-hard. Their “evil mission” downright patronizing. But as a genuine straight-edge punk, I’m here to say that the new Liquid Death Mango Chainsaw Non-Alcoholic Sparkling Water branding is not only hardcore, but it tastes wickedly good too.
Don’t believe me? Check out the graphics on the can. See that gnarly skull disintegrating as if it were gleefully heading toward—not away from, but toward—a nuclear explosion? If you’re a square, you might mistake the skull for some sort of wimpy fruit. Maybe an orange or something. But it’s not an orange; it’s a skull. And trust me, as someone who is wearing a spiked dog collar as I type this, skulls are the epitome of cool.
Also, look at the heavy black lettering. That’s some serious Edgar Allan Poe shit. I’m talking huge, evil, died in the gutter serifs. If you can’t recognize that as badass, you’re probably just a sheep that only purchases products from the millions of safe sans-serif brands like Jeep, and Spotify. Pathetic.
Imagine you’re drunk at a concert. Idles is on stage shredding. You’re by the merch booth checking out the T-shirts when you spot me in the mosh pit. I’m in the middle of the fray—God, I look cool, full-tilt punk rock, crushing skulls, and holding a can of Liquid Death Mango Chainsaw Sparkling Water. Now, I have big hands, massive really—it’s a genetic thing. So the can might look tiny or like one of those slim seltzers with alcohol. But surprise, you lush! It’s not small. The can’s enormous, all 16.9 fluid ounces of it. A tallboy. And if you weren’t so drunk, you’d realize the word tallboy is objectively rad. Ever heard of a tallboy of milk? No? Didn’t think so!
I should also mention only posers would buy a shirt at a show. Ha!
Now let’s pretend it’s Saturday afternoon in the Midwest. You’re at a BBQ in the suburbs. Craig, the host, is bragging about his potato salad while you’re working your way through a mixed case of IPAs that you bought from Costco. He’s going on and on about how he dumps a packet of ranch dressing into just about everything he cooks. In quick succession, you have two thoughts; it’d be a good idea to tell Craig what you really think of his cooking “skills,” and it’d be a better idea to sober up a bit. You reach into the cooler that’s been designated “soda” with a piece of tape and pull out a Liquid Death Mango Chainsaw Sparkling Water. Holding the can aloft, you think, Hmm, that’s a strange-looking orange.
You take a sip and spit all over Craig’s patio. You weren’t expecting Liquid Death Mango Chainsaw Sparkling Water to taste so sweet. But the fact of the matter is it’s not sweet. It says right on the label that it’s made with AGAVE NECTAR FOR MORE BRUTAL FLAVOR. Brutal! None of that corn syrup bullshit! It only tastes sweet to you because you’ve been swallowing mouthfuls of nasty hops all afternoon. It’s called Mango Chainsaw. Does a chainsaw sound sweet? No, motherfucker. It sounds like it would rip your tongue right out of your mouth and leave you bleeding for more. Delicious!
The suburbs, by the way, are not hardcore. The suburbs suck. So does Costco.
Before I get too worked up, I’ll leave you with this. On the bottom of each can of Liquid Death, it says, MURDER YOUR THIRST. For those of you that are reading this, listening to Hootie and the Blowfish, shopping at a sans-serif store like Kohl’s, and picking hop leaves from your teeth, I’m not going to be able to explain it. But for those of you that are punk rock like me, well, you get it.