The Chicharones - When Pigs Fly
Review by Jack Foley
HAVING delivered their Pork Rind Disco EP to sizzling effect earlier this year, The Chicharones now deliver a truly tasty main course in the form of their debut album, When Pigs Fly.
Comprised of Josh Martinez and Sleep, The Chicharones are a two-man hip-hop collective who effortlessly blend some feel-good hip-hop beats with their own fun-loving attitude.
But then what else would you expect from a collective named after a Mexican crispy fried pork skin snack – or scratchings to you and me!
Everything about the debut album, though, is exemplary – from the musical scratchings (courtesy of DJ Wicked) to the lyrics and the whole mouth-watering package.
The album kicks off proper with Pork Rind Discotheque, a beefed-up version of the EP track that features a lively hip-hop beat, some gentle guitar riffs and short, sharp bursts of strings during the chorus.
It sets the tone well before hitting listeners with a more straight-forward hip-hop rap on Surf Rock – a stripped down track that provides more of a showcase for the duo’s verbal banter.
Mostly, though, the album impresses because of its multi-layered musical approach and retro vibe that harks back to the glory days of the hip-hop era – think De La Soul mixed with DM & Jemini and you’re somewhere close to the quality.
Of the stand-out tracks, Breaking Point is an absolute humdinger, a country-tinged hip-hop number that recalls the style of Everlast and Jason Downs complete with a really upbeat chorus and some more nice vocal trade-offs.
A glorious Spanish guitar solo marks the start of Fiesta before delivering yet another urgent collection of beats and fast-flowing lyrics.
While Ring Ring offers up a genuinely funky vibe courtesy of its glorious bassline sample and chilled out beat.
Guys Like Me, one of the stand-out tracks on the aforementioned EP, remains among the best tracks on the long-player, emerging as a strings-laden, smooch-tastic hip-hop ballad that drips sauciness – pork rind-style!
While Red Carpet Treatment is a little more urban in attitude, courtesy of a harder, more fast-talking rap, and a grittier collection of beats.
A sombre piano heralds the arrival of the atmospheric Can’t Find The Time, another highlight, while Take It Easy brings things to a close in suitably laidback fashion, expertly displaying the duo’s ability to mix easygoing beats and melodies with relevant but amiable vocals.
In their sleevenotes, The Chicharones state that When Pigs Fly is ‘a record we hope you will love. May its outcome be incredibly greasy fingers and a clogged aorta full of joy’.
Well ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to pig out!
2. Pork Rind Discotheque
3. Surf Rock
4. Little by Little
5. Breaking Point
7. Freeze Up
8. Ring Ring
9. Bully Bully
10. Guys Like Me
11. Red Carpet Treatment
12. Can’t Find the Time
13. Keep It Moving
14. Take It Easy