Review: 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
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
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
A glorious Spanish guitar solo marks the start of Fiesta
before delivering yet another urgent collection of beats and fast-flowing
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!
Related stories: Find
out more about The Chicharones
Pork Rind Disco