Label: Kanine Records
TL;DR: Decent. 6/10
‘…much like that stick of candy floss, it’s tempting as hell to digest, but you know you’re going to be sick afterwards.’
Pepper Rabbit are a LA duo comprising of Xander Singh and Luc Laurent, and Red Velvet Snow Ball is the second album to be released on this new project, following on from 2010’s Beauregard. The new record looks to expand on the psychedelic nature of the duo’s songwriting skills and narrow it down into a much more driven and accessible path. It essentially is the red velvet snowball, gradually filling and adding more and more of the eclectic taste of the sound of Pepper Rabbit as it progresses.
Lake House opens the album in reasonable fashion, featuring many instruments including a pocket piano as its main source of sound. This collection of underground devices creates a sound which could easily be heard at a funfair of some sorts, and easily accompanied with a giant stick of candy floss, but much like that stick of candy floss, it’s tempting as hell to digest, but you know you’re going to be sick afterwards. The track itself is pleasant to listen to but does not offer anything new to what is deemed a traditional Avantgarde sound, it could easily be misplaced as a song from Dumbo Goes Mad’s Elephants At The Door, or The Voluntary Butler Scheme’s Grandad Galaxy.
Fortunately following track Rose Mary Stretch picks up the standards and sets them relatively higher than the beginning. The confidence behind the vocal delivery from Singh is very strong and helps drive the song into its MGMT-Congratulations-esque chorus, which envelope the listener into this lush wall of fairytale noises and Alice In Wonderland-like photography. Allison enhances on this newly highly set standards bar with a simple set of rhythms resulting in a very catchy and accessible listen, easily one of the best tracks on Snow Ball, but also one of the tamest.
The record is not predictable but it’s not terribly surprising either. Once you experience and grow accustomed to the rather out-there atmosphere of Pepper Rabbit, then none of the tracks left to hear will be particularly original to you, not to say they’re not good tracks. If this record featured tracks which were allowed to continue a couple of minutes more, then it would’ve become a much more enjoyable listen. These songs rarely pass the four-minute mark, which is a shame because it would’ve been interesting to hear what the band could have progressed them if they were extended to a six or seven minute mark instead.