Pepper

Turn it up

It's a safe bet that Pepper grew up on a steady diet of Sublime, Sugar Ray, and post-1995 Red Hot Chili Peppers, with the occasional grunge snack. The Hawaii trio's sophomoric, agreeable, brand-spanking new No Shame will likely find great favor at barbecues, ganja-flavored get-togethers, and luau-themed fraternity parties everywhere at that point in the evening when invitees have tired of jam-band skeez and Jay-Z. The band's members — guitarist Kaleo Wassman, bassist Bret Bollinger, and drummer Yesod Williams — each are credited as vocalists, but it's left unsaid who sung which song. Therefore, it's impossible to assign blame for the faux Rasta-mon, rubbish sentiments expressed on "Lost In America," a (typical) reggae-inflected, touring-act travelogue: "Drive along the country roads/Just don't piss on the Alamo/Jump the station, down the co-co/Eat sushi on Hudson after the NYC show." It doesn't get much better than that, but when you're on your way back to the keg for a 16th red cup, those easy-livin' guitar chords, fat bass slugs, ska sticks, and inane sitcom scenarios of love found, lost, or improbable will likely have you singing along, feeling every last word, as convinced as Pepper's subdudes that you're secretly an ace R&B singer.

 
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