Vancouver MCs Dusty Melo and Marmalade, who are best known as members of the band Sweatshop Union, began their own hip-hop group in 2010. Called Pigeon Hole, this group’s debut album, Age Like Astronauts, was a difficult to classify cavalcade of experimental sound.
Pigeon Hole’s second album, Chimp Blood, is similarly intriguing. Sweatshop Union generally trends towards music where the vocals are the focus, while Pigeon Hole subjugates them to the distant background.
Chimp Blood was a fitting name for this album, since the animalistic undertones that radiate throughout are quite easy to pick up on — it’s the type of album that makes you feel like you have to destroy shit the second it starts to pump.
If you are sick of the recent trend in music toward bass-heavy tracks, you may want to steer clear of Chimp Blood. To call this project bass-heavy is an understatement — each song is infused with a beating, relentless bass-line that gets the blood boiling. While this may not appeal to all hip-hop fans, it definitely works for the sound Pigeon Hole is shooting for.
The album is fast too: the drums and 808s sound like machine guns, driving the action forward. It’s not dubstep, but it’s not hip hop either. The album sounds clean and crisp even though it’s bass heavy. The standout track was “Ice Dicks,” which manages to transcend its ridiculous title.
Chimp Blood is an album that will make you want to roll down the windows and drive up and down 17th Avenue until it’s finished. This mix of tracks is simultaneously gritty and clean, muddy and crisp, fast and slow — I would definitely recommend it.