America has SKA bands like Sublime, who is from Long Beach, CA and No Doubt started as a SKA band, and they’re from Anaheim, CA…now SKACORE came from the United Kingdom and United States…but SKA is islands, its reggae, it’s not bleach blonde, bindi wearing, heroin addicted California. I’ve had issues with SKA in the States for quite some time. I’ve often screamed at Sublime on my radio “Yeah, you’re okay, but this is not real SKA!” Well, my wait for decent SKA in America is over. I was told about this band when they rolled through Detroit a couple weeks ago. I didn’t say anything because I wanted to check them out before I told you guys about them, well ladies and gentlemen….
Introducing PEPPER, Hawaiian surf punk reggae, and they’re good. They’re not just banging drums and speaking really, really, fast. They’re melodic, which a lot of SKA and punk forget to be. They blend musicality and a laid back vibe. Sitting in a cubical in corporate America is a little more tolerable with the islands in my head phones.
They’re hard workers too, touring non-stop and starting their own label. They’re not a one trick pony either, sure they’ve got fun upbeat songs like “Drunk Girl”, and “Wake Up”, but they’ve also got smooth, soothing, “Lonely”. Kaleo Wassman has an incredible tonality to his voice, Bret Bollinger harmonizes perfectly and keeps his bass right in line, and Yesod Williams is the perfect fit on the drums. They credit Hawaiian icons Gabby Pahinui and Israel Kamakawiwo’ole as their inspirations; well I’d say they’re making their hero’s very proud. Keep up the good work boys.