Pepper Rabbit goes good with Carnival Food
Music Artist Review
By Bennett Briles
I thought it would be decent of me to review an artist whom I have never consciously listened to before. So I found Pepper Rabbit, a band that describes their music as “a loose brand of psychedelic pop music.” I am not sure what “psychedelic” means to you, but I am pretty sure a lot of artists might use this term to give themselves an excuse to use an abundance of random instruments and produce a barrage of ridiculous sounding songs or “experiments.”
Does Pepper Rabbit do this? Yes and no.
They have used at least eleven different instruments in their songs, so one of their albums might contain as many different sounds as Herbie Hancock’s keytar. However, the songs they have produced are mostly disciplined, yet unique and free enough to keep us interested.
The first twenty seconds or so of each song is what has made me want to keep listening to Pepper Rabbit. These intros are phenomenal, giving me the feeling that something indescribably exciting and good is about to happen. This is especially the case in their most recent album Red Velvet Ball. For example, the intro to the song “Lake House” made me feel like I was a child again at a baseball game, supremely content with the possibility of nabbing a foul ball. The intro to “Allison” is also warm-fuzzy inducing, placing me at a county fair while snacking on cotton candy the size of my head. In fact, it seems that the carnival theme may have been an intention of Pepper Rabbit judging by the clowns on the album art. The songs “Murder Room,” “Dance Card,” and “Tiny Fingers” also have this feel—so much so that by the end of Red Velvet Ball I was more than ready to step off the merry-go-round and listen to somebody else. Do not get me wrong, I appreciated the tooty and whistly sounds for a bit, but together with the moderate noisiness and messiness of the album, it may have been a higher dose of “psychedelic” than I can handle in one day.
Still, with Pepper Rabbit, the talent is evident. The lyrics, for one, areunique and passionate enough while not being overly dramatic. The melodies follow suite. One song that is particularly pleasing is “The Annexation of Puerto Rico,” which has hints of MGMT’s “Time to Pretend” and the sound of a choir reminiscent of Sufjan Stevens’ Come on Feel the Illinoise. Combine those two hints with Pepper Rabbit’s unique vocal style and the results are impressive.
While at the moment Pepper Rabbit does not have any songs that would be considered classics, they are getting closer. As they continue to refine their sound, I would not be surprised if the next chunk of music they release has a hit that puts them on the map.
Where to listen: Red Velvet Ball was released late 2011 and can be sampled at grooveshark.com. Pepper Rabbit’s 2010 LP, Beauregard, can be legally downloaded for free at noisetrade.com.
If you can only listen to one song: “Lake House” from Red Velvet Ball or “Older Brother” from Beauregard
Bennett’s Rating for Red Velvet Ball : 3 stars out of 5
Bennett Briles is a contributor from Mount Vernon, OH. He blogs about all things beautiful, bizarre, and brown at 2brownshoes.wordpress.com.