Pepper

Pink Crustaceans And Good Vibrations

Written by: PP on 26/08/2008 13:07:17

Few bands have dared to follow in the footsteps of the all mighty Sublime, the greatest ska/reggae band of all time, who disbanded due to vocalist Bradley Nowell suffering a heroin overdose and dying two months before the release of the band's most glorified (and best) album, the self-titled "Sublime". But Pepper, suitably originating from Kailua Kona, Hawaii, have been re-creating the magic fusion between alternative rock and reggae very well in the course of four albums now. "Pink Crustaceans And Good Vibrations" is the band's fifth album, and arguably the one where the band truly steps into character for the first time.

The Sublime references are strikingly obvious from the get go. First off, vocalist Wassman sounds frighteningly similar to late Nowell, especially in his ability to strain his voice that extra bit to reach the same kind of chilling passion as his exemplar. Check out the relaxed reggae beat in "Things That You Love" and notice how his voice gives the song strength and relevance alone. In fact, the majority of the album is instrumentally very simple, relying on minimalistic (though still intriguing) reggae/ska guitar and the slow drum beat throughout, allowing Wassman to showcase his ability to add a great deal of emotion to each song.

Just like Sublime's work, "Pink Crustaceans..." is extremely varied, ranging from the RnB-esque opener "Freeze" to the alt rock-ish "Wet Dreams" to the pure ska/reggae fusionist tracks, effectively making the record a great long term listen. There aren't any moments on the record where the listener is left without attention as a result of the band's engaging songs that simply demand you to travel somewhere where you'll be able to slowly dance underneath a palm tree while sipping on a cocktail, enjoying the white beaches. The highlights are many; the curious bass-line in "Love 101", the ultra-chilled out mood in "Lucy", the nothing short of brilliant vocal performance in "The Phoenix"... Pepper may not have written "Garden Grove", "Santeria" or "Wrong Way" on the record, but many of the songs come pretty damn close to filling the void left by Nowell's tragic death.

8

Download: The Phoenix, Love 101, Lucy, Things That You Love
For the fans of: Sublime
Listen: Myspace

Release date 22.07.2008
LAW Records

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