After a break the guys in Pepper are back with their first new album in five years, a self-titled album produced by Matt Wallace. The new Pepper album sees the band going more pop than they’ve ever gone in a style that’s pretty similar to The Dirty Heads’ radio-friendly moments. It’s a different album for Pepper, sure, but that doesn’t mean that it’s worse than previous albums. After listening through the new record a few times over the past couple of weeks, it’s safe to say that this is Pepper’s best album.
The new Pepper recordsounds like a Matt Wallace record. For the most part, the production is spot on. Wallace excels at finding the personality of the artist he’s working with. That’s done with Pepper on all of the songs on this album. Towards the end of the album when the songs sound like tried and true Pepper songs, the production is perfect. In the beginning of the album on songs like “Huney Girl” and “F*ck Around.” the pop work done by Wallace is solid too. The one song that there’s a giant lapse on the record is P.O.Y.L., that’s just a terrible song all the way around for all parties involved.
The production by Wallace is a big selling point on why you should listen to the new Pepper album, but you have to talk about the songs with the album too. Pepper co-wrote some material with Tim Pagnotta of Sugarcult and all of that material turned out really different from what we’ve heard on previous albums. The songs that are more pop on the record came from some of those co-writing sessions and they turned out well, proving that Pepper and Pagnotta were a good pairing. Doing things a little differently on this record, served Pepper well.
Pepper has been going on strong for more than a decade and a half and this record has them better than ever. Working with Matt Wallace and Tim Pagnotta worked wonders for the group to provide some freshness and the band’s song writing was better this time around. There’s plenty to like on Pepper’s latest album.