Released: May 1, 2019, Hand’Solo Records, REVIEW WRITTEN BY MICHAEL GRANT, C.E.O. of RePPiN4U and UK AMBASSADOR for WU-WORLDWIDE DJ COALITION
TRUE STATEMENT. Especially in the case of Toronto Hip Hop Duo Primal Winds. If you know them over the years like I have, you will find that every project they do brings a different flavour, but the similarity is always there. Hip Hop. Together they have given you a street album, a martial arts album, an 80’s video game influenced album, and quite recently a wild, wild west album. These guys love to explore what they were raised on. This time they have gone the route of the Road Warriors. To most, that title resonates with the classic wrestling tag team legends. That might well be the direction here… a wrestling tag team meets apocalyptic Mad Max style affair.
If a venue books Primal Winds to perform, and they dropped ‘Twisted Metal’… they would have a mean mosh pit on their hands, the likes of which even established rock bands like Nirvana and Megadeth would even be afraid of. Security would have handed in their badges and retreated to the nearest gym to pump some more iron.
At this point the duo have realised there were casualties and fatalities from the results of that last track right there so they have decided to slow it down. The survivors of the mosh pit made it to the Radiation Station. Going by the lyrics of Iron Wind in the Fresh Kils Remix of ‘How You Like Us Now’, he’s also been heavily influenced by disaster movies.
So imagine this is the story so far: Primal Winds walk in your tag team champions of the world, with the power of their rhymes and their metal backdrop, they cause an apocalypse. Survivors found air raid shelters as the aftermath causes an pandemic ‘Outbreak’, and the population continues to decrease. The album sequencing here has been done to perfection thus far. Now the pair mount their motorcycles and prepare for ‘Road Rage’… it’s all survival of the fittest music from here on end.
One thing Primal Winds really excel at – is how they acknowledge the female of the species. They don’t just make a typical song about a love interest and talk about how they wine and dine her before giving her loving no… Tank Girl is their ode to the comic book badass chick. There was one other notable instance when Iron Wind in particular did a homage track and it was Lady Snowblood from The Warrior Inside album.
Don’t you just love when Hip Hop can take a sample from some of the most oddball pieces of music and make it work? Primal Winds have done this with ease with ‘Atomic Love’, sounding like Hip Hop originated during World War 2 and not 1972 as we all believe! Finally ‘Stand By Me’ which features Fortunato and resident songstress Lucy Lovesick closes out the post-apocalyptic conclusion. The album also includes the original version of ‘How You Like Us Now’ but Primal Winds, with the help of Fresh Kils have achieved something quite rare in this era of Hip Hop where the remix is superior to the original, but they included it for the loyal fans who may prefer the original.
Which brings us back to this. Primal Winds have listened to constructive criticism over past projects while maintaining the creative juices, they scaled the tracks down whereas earlier projects had maybe 20 songs and after a while some tracks may have sounded either samey or filler, and just like every box of chocolates, you may not like every single chocolate in it and the least popular are left at the bottom. That is the case for Road Warriors if some of the heavy metal driven sounds are not really your thing. On a personal standpoint, on first listen a lot of the tracks were skippable, but on second listen you find that the album tells a story from beginning to end, it flows as far as a conceptual album goes, and if you are really down with the rock/hip-hop fusion you will find this an enjoyable album. The genius behind all of this is Primal Winds are broadening their audiences, and are able to be booked in more venues depending on what crowd they are catering to, and that can only be a good thing.