Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Cassette Review:
The Hell Hole Store (Darko the Super & iAlive)
"Return to the Hell Hole Store"
(Already Dead Tapes)

$5 //
Edition of 100 // //

Let's be real with each other: sequels rarely live up to the hype of the original.   From that new Bladerunner movie to "S. Darko" I feel like they get compared too much to the original and that hinders them, but at the same time, yes, there have been a number of sequels I have enjoyed but they are usually part of a larger series (Like Star Wars, what Marvel is currently doing, etc)  I mean, I liked "Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls" but not nearly as much as the original.   (Then again, that could be part of a series because there is also a movie where Ace Ventura is a kid and it's unintentionally hilarious)

I feel like what can be said about movies and them having sequels or remakes can be said for music as well.   I've had this conversation recently but having this be the "Return to the Hell Hole Store", it will be compared with the original cassette and anything which comes after this likely will as well.  It's that struggle to not create something that sounds exactly like the album before it yet also keeps your listeners engaged because sometimes they're the most stubborn when it comes to accepting the evolving style.

Luckily Darko The Super and iAlive have enough music and pop culture references to keep them busy seemingly forever.   (And it should be noted they have a 7" after this so obviously this is not a typical sequel as it is part of a series of albums now).    The first reference that I really liked in here was to Chris Jericho wearing a scarf.  I thought that was funny, even though "Green Ski Mask" talks about robbing a lot of places I don't think exist anymore.

"Cow Tippin'" reminds me of Afro Man for some reason but after that it goes into that R&B fused hip-hop I feel The Hell Hole Store is best known for creating.   Sounds like A Tribe Called Quest, Das Efx and, well, you get the idea.   Though I also like that they diss both Kanye and Future on this cassette because radio rap sucks.    There is also a song called "Mellow Yello 2" and I've loved Mellow Yellow ever since I saw "Days of Thunder", though it wasn't always as easy to find in Connecticut as it has become more recently.

"Hell Hole Cafe" is one of my favorite songs on this cassette, and in life in general.   They basically tell you not to visit them there because they play The Spits self-titled second album too loudly for you (Which is an odd reference because that particular album came out back in 2002 on Slovenly Records and here I sit, readying a review of an album on Slovenly by The Cavemen) but then they say to make sure you do stop by for movie night on Fridays-- the cover is $15 and they show "Buckaroo Banzai".   Wow.  "Buckaroo Banzai" is one of the most underrated movies of all-time though.  In an alternate universe somewhere, Darko The Super is likely named "The Great Banzai".   Maybe.  I don't know.

There is also a line in here about how choosing Blanka in Street Fighter is bad and I still don't understand why.   I loved Blanka and always did choose him, but I mean, I guess I didn't really win a lot either looking back at it.   I just thought he was the most visually appealing I guess because he's bright green.    Does anyone else remember when Street Fighter characters were made in 3 3/4" style to match G.I. Joes?  I had a ton of G.I. Joes as a kid (Not the aircraft carrier though, I wasn't that kid) and my favorite to go with them from Street Fighter was always Blanka too.

While The Hell Hole Store might not appeal to everyone, it appeals to me and really that's all that matters.   I like to think of it like this.   You can be like me and hear references to things such as "Buckaroo Banzai" and go "Yeah!! That movie fucking rules!!" (I actually own it on DVD and am always considering whether or not to get the Blu-Ray) but I realize not everyone is going to get all of these references.   So if you don't want to be lame, you'll listen to the music because it's fucking great and then when you hear something you don't understand, you'll google it because at the end of the day having seen "Buckaroo Banzai" makes you a little bit cooler.

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