Pepper – Pink Crustaceans & Good Vibrations

  • Bobby Gorman posted
  • Reviews


Pink Crustaceans & Good Vibrations - Law Records

Tastes tend to change over time. While I’ve never been a huge fan of Pepper, I did always enjoy their laid-back, Hawaiian flavored reggae. The records never fully capture me but were strong enough to keep me coming back, so much so that I was actually rather excited to see them at Warped Tour a few years ago. Now however, the idea of listening to a new Pepper CD filled me with dread. There was nothing wrong with it and I had yet to hear anything about it, but as soon as I saw it, Pink Crustaceans & Good Vibrations rubbed me the wrong way. From that point on I had written off the CD, and no matter how often I listened to it, they could never regain my affection.

What originally seemed fresh a few years ago has now grown stale and repetitive and Pepper seem to be riding their reggae wave into the ground. The music seems to become repetitive fast, as the same structure and tone perforate each and every song. A thick bass line with go-stop-go-stop guitar riffs and thinly placed drum beats that see the same pattern being delivered again and again fill up every song. Sometimes there’s an odd, impulsive element thrown in for good measure but they mostly stick to the same tired formula – and not even one that’s all that attracting in the first place. Rather slow and not with the pull of solid reggae, Pink Crustaceans falls flat and slips slowly into the background never to return to the forefront again. The only time they jump out at you is the faster, punkier track Blackout which sees the band just completely messing around and going crazy; but as that takes thirteen songs to get to, its rare that you actually hear it.

Lyrically, Pepper irks me once again. While it may seem somewhat hypocritical to say I dislike the lyrical content due to some of the other bands I listen to but the blatant sexual innuendos and sex references has just started to annoy me here. They did it before on all their other CDs, but never so heavily. From the title of the album to Musical 69 which has them singing “I see you there just standing, / Wondering if you know. / Later on this evening, / We’ll be head to toe. /But I aint got time to worry, / And later baby you’ll recline. / Now get yourself around me, / In the musical 69.” It just seems cheap and lazy; and the fact that they’ve succumbed to so many “woah” moments and the extreme use of choruses also makes it feel that they don’t know what to say.

With three albums under their belts already, Pepper didn’t feel the need to switch it up. They’ve put out the same record they did with KonaIn With The Old and No Shame and anyone who liked those in the past will more than likely enjoy Pink Crustaceans too. For me though, I seem to have outgrown it.