Pepperhead describe themselves as alt rock with a slight seasoning of punk. But an abundance of attitude is included within their latest EP “Words to the Wise.”
With the band’s first release, 2016’s “The Housefox Sessions” The band caught my curiosity but hadn’t fully sold me the meal.
Despite some elements which tickled my fancy (the song Unresolved still remains one of my favourites) the EP felt a little lacklustre.
In their second release, Pepperhead takes mild to spicy. As vocalist Louisa says “from (The Housefox Sessions) to Words to the Wise I think you’ll see there’s a leap forward in terms our sound, in terms of our confidence, in terms of our lyrics, and in terms of presentation of the songs.”
This EP is an epiphany, arising from two years of dedication and comradery. With a full, thick mix and solid song structure, Louisa puts it best “it just feels like a bit more of a grown-up record.” where the last release had me feeling unsatisfied with it what offered, this one left me greedy and craving what Pepperhead had to serve up next.
The songs are consistently solid and though conveyed with a hot attitude, would each sound tremendous in an acoustic setting which I’m hoping to get out of the band in coming months.
Psycho Sideshow is a go-to and one of those addictive songs you could easily loop four or five times before noticing. Bass player Dan’s rollercoaster riff drags you across the floor like musical ventriloquism, which is funny considering he learned bass on a whim as friend Kieron took place of guitarist.
Then comes “Truth Is Out There” with a perfect example of clap-along style rock rhythm. For anyone interested in seriously seeing what the band have to offer, this is the track. Drummer, Mark brings a pleasant light which shines brightly against the track and his fills pull you into the chorus in the most satisfying way they can. Kieron’s solo is well deserved and a live extension would lend itself well.
“we’ve learned that this is the right process and we trust in this process now”
Taking inspiration from storyteller type musicians Louisa conveys real stories from those she knows and loves. She is clearly extremely empathic as she had me fooled on her being the titular “Psycho Sideshow.”
Going forth, I’d love to hear Louisa share her own stories. If she can manage to convey the emotions of others as powerfully as she does, I can’t help feeling like she’s holding back from a potentially fantastic and true expression of vocal emotion. I understand the discomfort in vulnerability but as a listener, I’m sticking around to hear that extra, fully resolved step.
Pepperhead certainly has a daring flair. Louisa disclosed how she’ll often tempt the limits the band set themselves, being told to tone down the lyrics and the number of dungeons that appear within their music videos.
To which I say, continue to set those boundaries only to break them Pepperhead. If you ever need someone to chuck in a dungeon, you have my number.
STREAM PEPPERHEADS NEW EP
- Double X