The Hawaiian reggae-rockers try to lighten the national mood. For the most part, they succeed.
Does the world really need a reincarnation of Sublime? Is one 311 enough? Most would answer those questions "No" and "Yes", respectively. But with the general state things so downbeat and reflective, Pepper's laid-back reggae rhythms and general sense of recreation are a welcome change of pace. On their fourth album, and major label debut, the Hawaiian trio can't resist the temptation to add skits, but they do mix things up with some new wave-influenced pop, R&B, and metal touches. Nick Hexum of 311 and No Doubt's Tony Kanal are on the production team, but Pepper infuse things with their own sense of warmth. If these guys turn out to be the '00s' version of the Spin Doctors, well, worse things could happen.