Pepper Cook Up the Same Oversexed Antics, But Their New Songs Are Well-Seasoned

Categories: Bands We Like

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Every taste of success Pepper have encountered has come with a grain of salt. Before their riffs hit the mainland's auricular sphere, lead singer Kaleo Wassman, bassist Brett Bollinger and drummer Yesod Williams stepped away from bussing tables to play semi-successful gigs on the Big Island. Unfortunately, it would take a re-issuing of their debut album, Give'n It, and three years for their debut single to hit after its initial release for Pepper to arrive.

No longer 19 and out of the sexual peak they were in when the lusty ska title track was recorded in 2001, Pepper are back with a mature flare that still encourages the horny stoner to phone his booty call for some late-night action. When the Kona, Hawaii, natives first hit the scene, comparisons to Sublime and 311 challenged the bifurcation of their island-Metallica sound with radio's other reggae-based favorites.

Today, it'd be foolish to confuse the combination of raunchy lyrics and Wassman's strong vocals with anyone else. Five LPs later, resting on the laurels of past hits and reputable tours (Vans Warped Tour and the group were once synonymous) would have been a decent way for the group to ride the rest of the wave that was their career, but a boyish radiance still oozes from all three original members, signaling the callowness they'll offer for years to come.

"Honestly, it was like college for us," Williams says about the ambitious attitude they brought with them into the handful of SoCal studios where they recorded their self-titled album. The eponymous nature of the album is said to reflect the "relaunch of Pepper" from the aforementioned chasm.

After not vibing with past producers, Pepper went hands-on with their 2010 EP, Stitches, to ensure they could convey their self-projected sound. In what they deemed a pre-production to their upcoming record, the five-song EP, though lacking in acclaim and SoundScan numbers, did something much more to perpetuate the existence of the three amigos as a jolly, joke-spouting, melodic unit. Proving to industry professionals and themselves they could produce quality tunes sans the help of producers was an esteem boost for them.


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