We reviewed The Hell Hole Store’s Three The Hard Way.
The holidays are finally over, or almost over if you work in a grocery store. However, there’s one gift left under the tree. There was no name on the wrapper, so I took it, opened it, disposed of all evidence of my sin, and gave it a listen. The gift, called “Three The Hard Way,” is instalment three in a thrillogy of albumdry by The Hell Hole Store, two dudes who in my book are number 1. ialive and Darko The Super are friends in real life, and it shows through their chemistry. I recommend you grab hold of this album and gently slam it against a membrane, whichever one, doesn’t matter. Pick your favorite. For those who would rather not listen but immediately want to know more can continue reading. For those who don’t want to continue reading, you’re free to go. “Return to The Hell Hole Store” was the duo’s second album and I’m no geologist, but it was rock solid, folks. With that in mind I was very excited for this next instalment.
The album begins like how a bad day at elementary school ends: with a phone call. However, this phone call is a precursor to jam sessions, not a precursor to month-old meatloaf that tastes like no TV and no video games for the same age as said meatloaf. Once ialive is finished with Darko’s voicemail, “Already Dead” bumps onto the scene. I like the imagery that Darko and ialive are employed at an establishment called The Hell Hole Store, and I think they do too. Something about the way they rap is very endearing. It’s almost as if they like doing it!
The next track takes things up a notch lyrically and… sonically? Is that the word we use? The boys strut on the steady momentum of “Blare In Your Face.” These guys have some of the most fun and quotable lyrics that unfortunately get slept on by Americans ages 10 and up. And I love the contrast in styles. ialive throws out some monumental lines about ancient civilizations in this one, partnered with Darko’s aggressive pop- and unpopped-culture nods and snack aisle refs. The wondrous thoughtfield of ialive and the whimsical anger of Darko combine to create a a seasoned mix of friendship and fun-toting mischief. Baby, we got a stew going!
Music is a delicious composition with everything ialive and Darko prepare, because I say so. They have the raw lyricism, spiced up to make sure you savor it, but tenderized to make sure you don’t have to chew too hard. Taking the proper precautions, the lyrics are then dropped into a simmering funky beat, with ripe samples gently stirred in. Finally, a bunch of secret ingredients and techniques I know very little about, and a song is served. Every palate is different, so it’s not for everybody, but I always ask for seconds when “Alright, Alright, Alright” is on the menu.
In terms of musical accomplishment the Hell Hole Store seems to do what most others do, but without sounding like most others do. Some dudes are pretty corn-on-the-cob with their messages, but ialive doesn’t preach. He just says things that slide the rock out of my shoe. Darko on the other claw tends to have more Trix up his sleeve, and an endless stream of beverages ready to pop off. They came to just drop cold rhymes, and they brought friends. The featured artist DayTripper on “3 Man Stomp” definitely caught my ear. He fought the cliché, and just as I thought he was falling into another trope of being an iconoclast, he switched it up and talked about taking a selfie shit. Truly a royal flush. Stomach me!
The Hell Hole Store and its employees are pros, plain and simple. One trick up their shared sleeves involves the power of sampling. For example, “Martian King” sounds too much like a trip through space, but not current space; ’70s space, which was way different. More titties, less black holes. Not everything needs my overcritical analysis. The dudes went to Mars. Houston, we have a banger. “Futurehead” is an instant favorite. In fact, there are a high number of songs I’ll revisit frequently. They will go nicely as I run on the farking wall in NFL Street 2. The Hell Hole Store: where Super Bowls are born.