Think of the term rap-rock and you might be inundated by bad visions of late 90’s / early 00’s radio friendly bands that drove the movement into the ground. For me, I think of the early 90’s records by Faith No More and Rage Against the Machine. Angry and melodic, their albums seemed to point towards a future that would never be (as least in the mainstream). Who could have predicted that a decade later the genre would be associated with frat boy shenanigans? I always thought it was a shame that a genre that showed so much promise seemed to peter out as an indistinct genre on modern rock radio (or maybe it didn’t and I’m just a hipster snob). Fortunately, this is where The Chimpz out of Los Angeles, CA come into play.
The Chimpz have been a band for just about a decade now, forming after the members had a living room jam session and realized their chemistry was something special. The band is now composed of vocalist and rhythm guitarist Artimus Prime, MC / vocalist Chuck P., lead guitarist Scary Cary, bassist Shawn Lyon, and Sean Topham on drums. Together, the band offers up an intoxicating mix of classic rock, metal, hip-hop, and even a bit of funk. The band has released a full length album as well as several singles & EP’s. The new self titled EP shows the band firing on all cylinders, solidifying their strengths, and delivering 6 songs that leave an impression long after they’ve ended. You’ve heard at least one of these songs on the hit show Sons of Anarchy while another song has started to receive some radio play. The EP was produced by Ryan Greene (Nerf Herder, Megadeth, NOFX), and he seems perfectly suited towards the disparate musical stylings of The Chimpz. The album veers from melodic musings to pure aggression, making Greene the perfect choice for producer.
sunshine on my face…
War Machine sounds like a song title Black Sabbath would offer up, but The Chimpz mix it up by offering up rhymes full of righteous indignation to go with the metallic riffing. A perfect opener. California is starting to received some airplay and I can see why – a breezy stroll through the many attributes of The Golden State, the chorus is a sweetly sung contrast to the rapped verses. “When I wake up in that morning the morning with that sunshine on my face / I remember why I came here ’cause there ain’t no other place”. Right to Left was featured on Sons of Anarchy and perfectly encapsulates the shows themes of camaraderie & mayhem.
Verdict: Sunshine on a Stormy Day
For Fans of: Rage Against the Machine, Faith No More, Black Sabbath, NOFX
- War Machine
- Right to Left
- In a Box
- Save Our City