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Pepper: In With The OldIn With The Old (2004)
Reviewer Rating: 3
Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
(others by this writer | submit your own)
As the spring approaches, the sun is finally hitting the sandblasted shores. It’s just in time for a bright, relaxing afternoon with Pepper and their new release, In With the Old.
Pepper’s third album is chock full of the solid dub/rock/reggae hybrid the band is known for. While they yet again show their Sublime influence rather willingly, it’s admirably creative for the limited style they’ve otherwise chosen. Though none of the songs are overpowering or in your face, none of them are boorishly slow at the same time. They achieve a middle ground usually swung and missed at by most reggae-influenced bands.
“Border Town,” with its unusual country twangs is a fantastic, Southern-styled departure from the general Californian/Jamaican flavor of the album, although “Punk Rock Cowboy” does a similar thing, only with a bouncy, almost punk-pop chorus using distorted vocals and a saloon-style piano in which the band reminisces about what it would be like to have grown up in the “punk rock scene.”
The lead vocalist can croon exactly like Bradley Nowell when he wants to, which he unabashedly does for most of the disc. If you weren’t in the right state of mind, you could mistake a few of these songs for unreleased Sublime songs. Although, to be fair, Sublime mixed things up with their fast-tempo, more California skate punk-influenced songs. Pepper mix it up with the aforementioned Southernish, country-influenced songs.
While the album is nothing fantastic or mind-blowing, it’s not really intended to be. Rather, this is just forty-two minutes of drinking hard lemonade on the porch watching the cars go by. Once in a while, it’s good to relax like that.
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