Written by Abel Carmona
Nov 29, 2006 at 08:00 PM
ImageWhen I walked in to the Verizon Theater I could hear someone playing already which surprised me because I thought the show wasn’t going to start till 8pm, and here it was 7:40. Well what walked in on was the last song of opener OPM, so I didn’t get to hear much of them so I can’t say how they played or what they even sound like.

Anyway a little after 8pm Pepper took the stage and I had never heard of them at all so I wasn’t sure what my ears would be subjected to this evening. As I began taking Photos during their first song I really got in to their sound. They have a nice reggae, ska, surf skate punk mix going that at first thought you wouldn’t think sound that great together but they make it work well.

At the end of the first song I got a little more up close with the band than I am used to. As Vocalist / Bassist Bret Bollinger came right up to me on rubbed my baldhead and even shook my hand from the stage. After taking my photos I went and sat back and enjoyed Peppers sound. I found myself just jamming to their music and loved the way they preformed very laid back and just seem to be out to have a good time.

Pepper comes to us from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii and spirit of aloha is alive and well in Pepper as they welcome all with a sense of just be free and have a good time. Currently residing in sunny Southern California, Pepper has just released their newest album “No Shame” this is one I recommend picking up for that day trip down to the beach.

And while I did enjoy most of the lyrics to there songs there is a very repeating pattern of sex, drinking, sex, smoking and sex, oh did I mention they sing a lot about sex. They sound like a band that you could jam to while bar-b-queuing out in the back yard with a beer in one and hand and a blunt in the other. I know this is where I should say, “kids don’t use drugs” but I’ll spare you the after school special speech…

Headlining this years Jagermister Music Tour was Slightly Stoopid who have had some mild success with their latest album closer to the sun also releasing a live album called “The Winter Tour 05-06”. And while Slightly Stoopid’s music has a similar sound to Peppers reggae, surf punk. They just didn’t pull it off as well as Pepper does in my opinion.

And while there is more of a Ska element to they’re music with them using more horns and brass. Their live show just didn’t seem to be very entertaining. Maybe it was the lack of animation in their preformance as they just stood on stage with little or no movement from most of the members or maybe it was the fact that Pepper stole the show before they walked on stage.

As I listened to their set most of the songs sounded almost alike with very little change other than lyrics. I tried to give them a chance to change my mind but the more I listened to them I just couldn’t get in to Slightly Stoopid. I guess it was just a mix of things that didn’t come across well to my ears.

The genre of reggae can be pulled off by some pop or punk bands without a hitch, but then are some that it almost sounds like its being forced out and that the music isn’t really felt by the band. On the other hand bands like Pepper you can see them feeling their vibe and get a sense that that is their way of life cool, relaxed, and ready to bring the love to all their fans…