Pepper is a pop-punk band that has heavy ska and reggae influences. This band has been around since the late 90's, and "In With The Old" is there latest album released in early 2004. Pepper is one of the few talented and enjoyable pop-punk bands around today. The vocalist doesn't have a high-pitched or girly voice, the music has some depth and with the hints of reggae and ska this album is decent. "In With The Old" is nothing revolutionary but it is a good, solid pop-punk album.
This is Peppers third album. I own "Kona Town" and this, while "Kona Town" has more reggae inluences, this is more rock and pop-punk influences. The hints of reggae and ska are still a big factor in this album, but if you more reggae influence you are better off with Peppers earlier releases. Pepper is one of my favorite current pop-punk bands. This is a very mellow album and Pepper is often compared to Sublime. These comparisons are unavoidable, but Pepper prove that they are not Sublime rip-offs. I consider this music pop-punk, but it can also be considered as ska or reggae. Most of these songs are constructed with upbeat pop-punk melodies, ska riffs, a few dub effects here and there and even some hard rock influences are easy to see on "In With The Old." This album will not bore anyone, Pepper are experimental on a lot of these songs. "Border Town" is a laid back country influenced tune, and "Keep Your Head Bangin" is a hard-rock song with rough guitars and vocals. I would say most of these songs are mellow and smooth. While some of these tracks are poppy and upbeat, others can be mellow and filled with dub effects and guitar riffs. This starts out as a basic pop-punk album, but Pepper keeps things interesting when they add in some ska and reggae influences.
Pepper got some credit when they were featured on the 2004 Warped Tour comp with there single "Back Home." This song speaks for the rest of the album. Ska influenced, poppy and upbeat. This is a fun album, there can be some darker songs like "Ashes" and 7 Weeks" but for the most part this is a fun, upbeat album. Some rock fans might even enjoy this album, throughout all of the mellow and chill-out songs Pepper do successfully incorporate rock into there sound. While mixing all of these genres in with basic pop-punk melodies Pepper succeed in making a good album. Lead Singer, Kaleo has a smooth, relaxing, upbeat voice. His vocals sound very similar to Bradley Nowells, but they are less mellow and more aggressive. Kaeleo's vocals mix almost perfect with the poppy melodies of music. Pepper keep things from getting boring by adding in a lot of minor influences of rock, ska, reggae, and even folk. While these influences arn't major, they still keep things fun and interesting. I really like the sound of this album, although the lyrics are sort of corny, the mellow riffs and rythms will keep you coming back for more.
Overall this is one of the best pop/punk/ska albums to come out in 2004. I am rapidly loosing interest in this genre, but Pepper are keeping things alive. If you enjoy bands like Sublime, and Slightly Stoopid you will like Pepper. This is an enjoyable album for everyone, there is really nothing to dislike about it. "In With The Old" is nothing amazing, it is a a good pop-punk album. Almost all of these songs are extremely catchy and fun. Even though this is a good album, it does have some flaws. Some of these songs are boring, and uninspired. When Pepper are expermental with songs they are either hit or miss. "Your 45" sound like a weak B-side, while "Border Town" is fun at first the country influence is just too much. While these are the two songs that I don't like a few other tracks get old and boring. Even though there are some weak tracks the standouts really keep the album from falling down. Pepper are one of the best ska influenced pop-punk bands around today, this is an underated band and they deserve more credit. If you are a fan of punk, mellow ska music, or reggae give these guys a chance, because they will surprise you.
Overall Rating : 3/5
Pros : Catchy Songs // Experimental // Fun, upbeat pop punk songs // ska influences
Cons : Some tracks are hit or miss // Can be a bore at times
Recommended Tracks :
"Back Home" // "7 Weeks" // "Ashes"