Feb 23, 2011
It’s the end of February of 2011, and I’m only just now getting around to reviewing Pepper Rabbit’s October (September?) 2010 release, “Beauregard.” That’s a shame.
Kanine Records LA-based electric-psych-folk duo is going to have a very difficult time following this dreamy, orchestral, incredibly ambitious debut LP. Within the first seconds of this bravura recording, it’s easy to see just how high these guys set the bar. The beautiful melodies and interesting instrumental arrangements particularly in the percussion department make it easy for me to compare them stylistically to Le Loup or maybe even Neutral Milk Hotel. The creative use of loops and electronic elements definitely remind me a great deal of Arbutus Records psych. outfit, Pop Winds.
Pepper Rabbit spends a lot on this album. It is decadently, and at times, almost garishly, adorned with horns, strings, clarinets, keys, bells, but it all works together like some kind of vintage Chanel blouse that seems really gaudy until it gets paired with leopard print leggings.
There are many elements that contribute to the success of this album. The vocal delivery is pristine and draws from a plentitude of influences (Beach Boys, The Shins, Band of Horses, Animal Collective etc.) The drumming is calculated, creative, and calming in a rhythmically therapeutic way. The production is beautiful. The overall sound of the record marches Pepper Rabbit purposefully down the center of the line that separates educated, naturally gritty yet still somehow close and clear, Elephant Six style production from most other trial and error, delay /reverb, hazily distant bedroom production that seems to be ubiquitous. But it is the confidence with which Pepper Rabbit takes chances that will make this album stand the test of time.
Listen: Pepper Rabbit – Older Brother
Buy “Beauregard” from the Kanine Records shop.