Kona Town



by Zebra USER (177 Reviews)
September 22nd, 2005 | 20 replies

Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Pepper has been around since 1999 when they released there first full length album. In total Pepper has three albums and this is there second one. I only own this and "In with the Old" and to compare the two, I think this one prevailes because it is just and all around better album.

Members Kaeleo Wassman - Guitar, Vocals
Bret Bollinger - Bass, Vocals
Yesod Williams - Drums
Remy DeRochement - Dub Effects

Additional Members - Josh Fischel (vocals on Stormtrooper)
Willie Waldman - Horns
Ronnie King - Keys

Pepper is a reggae/ska band. The vocals are smooth and the music is just plain chill out. Pepper goes from rock to reggae to ska to punk. Theres some dub effects thrown in occasionally, and there are also some brief horn parts here and there. Even though Pepper makes some good reggae or chill music they will not amaze.

The comparisons to Sublime are just unavoidable. Kaeleo sounds a lot like Bradley Nowell and the music sounds very similar to Sublime. As for saying Pepper are Sublime rip-offs that is just plain ridiculous. I would say that Pepper is a lot more mellow and they arn't as inventive.

With some guitar riffs, smooth vocals, good drum beats, and some great rock parts Pepper gets the job done. They have some excellent reggae songs like "Stone Love", "Dry Spell", and "Tradewinds". Pepper can go from reggae to a more rockish sound with songs like "B.O.O.T." and "Face Plant." Pepper isn't a very inventive band but they keep there songs from sounding the same by adding in some dub effects and the trumpet is really good in "Sitting On The Curb."

When I say reggae sounding I don't mean Bob Marley reggae, Pepper is just very reggae influenced. On top of the reggae are some dub effects and smooth vocals. Kaeleo doesn't have a reggae type of voice, but it is mellow and very smooth. When you listen to Pepper you feel like your lying on the beach in Hawaii. There is just that feel to the songs that make you feel so good. If you think that Pepper is a 3rd wave ska band, they are not. Once again I would not consider Pepper a ska band and maybe not even a reggae band and certaintly not punk. Pepper puts reggae into there music and then they combine a little bit of ska and punk into there songs. "Office" even provides a very nice guitar solo. To sum up this band I would just say there music is just very mellow or "chill out" music.

The lyrics on Kona Town are fairly simple. There is nothing really that deep and most of these songs are love songs. Pepper's lyrics deal with having no friends ("Face Plant") and even some depressing lyrics from "Sitting On The Curb." Once again the lyrics arn't anything special yet they arn't obnoxius. If you're seeking some nice lyrical depth than Pepper is not the band for you, but i you don't really pay attention to lyrics than this shouldn't be a problem.

Overall Rating 3.5/5

Pros : Good chill out music
Great ska/reggae/punk fun.

Cons: Not very inventive
Some people may call Pepper Sublime rip-offs.

Recomended Tracks:

"Sitting On The Curb"
"Stone Love"

Once again Pepper is just nice mellow reggae-ish type music. They are very good just to sit back and relax to. If you like bands like Sublime, Slightly Stoopid, and Bargain Music then this is for you.

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user ratings (101)

Comments:Add a Comment 
September 22nd 2005


I always thought this band was a pop-punk band, because of that one track in the Warped Tour 2004 comp. Maybe thy're another Bad Brains at play, but that was good. And I'm always up for a little reggae here and there. Good review, and I suppose I can check some stuff out. This Message Edited On 09.22.05

September 22nd 2005


This is how Zebra moves on up the rank list. Good review, very detailed. :thumb:

Storm In A Teacup
September 22nd 2005


Good Reveiw :lol:

September 22nd 2005


Thanks for the feedback guys. If you have yet to check these guys out you should really do it because they are awesome.

September 25th 2005


I love pepper dont get me wrong but you say they dont rip off sublime......not true. Listen to "Sitting on a Curb" then listen to sublimes "In a Little District". Its completely obvious.

December 26th 2005


whoa i havent ever heard of pepper but youmade tehm sound pretty good man! i think ill check them out...

My only review complain is that you didint seem to really have a set opiion on them.
Besides that it was really good review though!

Two-Headed Boy
April 30th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

This band is quite awesome. This and Give 'n It are quite close, but GnI wins by the live/acoustic tracks. This is a more solid studio album.

April 30th 2007


Album Rating: 3.0

this is pretty good. Ho's is probably my favorite track

May 2nd 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

I like this album. This is probably my favorite Pepper album. I'd say BOOT is my favorite.

June 30th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

Pepper's best album. I don't mind the similarities to Sublime since they don't copy them in any way. Great album, Stone Love i my favorite track.

dub sean
May 20th 2008


Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah I'm with FotD, this Pepper's best by far.

September 7th 2008


oooh this review pissed me off to no end. not inventive? that's bullshit. pepper is truly amazing. they are my favorite band, actually, and to call them ripoffs of sublime is pretty ignorant. they have a completely different feel, and frankly i prefer pepper. "no shame" and "pick crustaceans & good vibrations" are particularly brilliant. a lot of their songs have meanings behind them, just because some are more simplistic doesn't mean that there is no meaning or message. listen to "ashes" sometime, and "stand & fall", my fave songs. while i prefer these albums/songs to kona town, pepper is still a great band. see them live and you'll realize that this review is completely off. the members are charged with energy and are hilarious people. bret has even said "respect women, they are beautiful". true, a lot of their songs are about sex, etc., but i have never felt disrespected, being a woman myself. so basically, to the writer of this review : SUCK IT! and the first commenter: pop punk? are you fucking kidding me? pepper makes fun of emo/scene kids every day!

September 7th 2008


I think Kona Town is their best album. I love Tradewinds and Ho's. I haven't really listen to their other stuff, but I just got their newest album. Im sure if I didn't like this album already, this review would have made me get it.

January 29th 2009


Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah this is no doubt Pepper's best album imo. I really love their songs that appear to have a lot more reggae influence in them.

July 27th 2009


its not you. Its me.

July 27th 2009


This comment is geared towards sublime fans. I heard pepper for the first time on pandora radio and it felt like I was on an awkward blind date with a sublime look alike. Pepper is hard for me to enjoy. Whether they are trying to sound like sublime or not doesn't really matter cuz the fact is the similarities are numerous. Even the art work has similarity in style. I don't know if they did all this intentionally but I agree with what one of this sites reviewers said about sub par lyrics and "it will not amaze you". Sublime on the other hand gave me chills the first time I heard my rucca. It was on an awesome sound system full blast watching the sun setting over venice beach CA. From that point I was in love. I thought we'd be jammin' forever. So when lead singer of sublime Bradley died I was definitely disappointed. That being said sublime is like my first love who's passed away and pepper feels like I'm stuck on a blind date with a guy who looks like my fiance(sublime) that passed away but pepper has a big nose and he's not as funny nor as charming and he can't shut up about all the things my beloved fiance loved. Is this peppers fault for reminding me of my beloved sublime? Had sublime never existed or had I heard pepper before I heard sublime maybe we could have had something special. I guess we'll never know. So for now I'm going to have to excuse myself from this awkward blind date with pepper and politely say its not you. Its me. Although Matisyahu and dub all stars and even 311 have numerous similarities to sublime as well and yet they don't bug me at all. Their some of me favorite bands and matisyahu and dub all stars I heard after sublime. 311 is the only band I heard before I heard sublime which leads me to wonder maybe pepper is trying to sound like sublime and maybe I'm picking up on that on some level? Who knows. All I know is peppers not for me.

August 24th 2009


dude i love this band they are like sex for my ears

February 4th 2010


Album Rating: 2.0

I gave this album a chance thinking this would be a million times better than "No Shame" and I have to agree with the fact that it does indeed feel like "an awkward blind date with a sublime look alike."

My conclusion: I just don't understand the hype this band gets. Mark it up to either loving them or hating them.

Activista anti-MTV
July 12th 2012


great review

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