Canadian hip-hop duo Pigeon Hole climbs aboard the H.M.S. Reminiscin' on this debut. As members of Vancouver, BC's Sweatshop Union, Dusty Melo and Marmalade clearly aren't newbies.
"Voodoo" reintroduces the rappers with a slow and low tempo, boasting spare, fastidious production, which smacks of 1992—I'm talking spot-on homages to Dre, RZA and DJ Muggs. As a couple of crackers straight out of Canada, Pigeon Hole knows they've got to drop some names and dole out some props, and they're doin' it and doin' it well on "Looptape." With rhymes describing the duo's backstory, the song recalls how Pigeon Hole—and those of a certain age—came to know hip hop. Featuring mellow horns, a Biggie sample and lines like, "Doggystyle was a favorite even though Mom and Dad hated it," this jam demonstrates an exceptional ability to take us back in the day, perhaps for a trip to Ole's for a 40 ounce.
"Light Show" continues the fine beats and potent lyrics but from there the appeal wanes as do the nostalgic rhymes. Much as I'd rather hear a cover band play "Separate Ways" at a wedding than listen to originals, I'd rather Pigeon Hole go way back when times were simpler and stick to reminiscing.
Dusty Melo, Marmalade and Sweatshop Union play the Top Hat Saturday, Nov. 6, at 10 PM, with Tahjbo and Shaymlusly Elliterate. $10.