Album Review: Los Pepes – “Los Pepes For Everyone”
It’s a couple of years since Los Pepes first came to our attention, and this reviewer described their debut EP as sounding like the missing link between the Jim Jones Revue and the Hives. Well, as we enter the final days of 2014, it seems that their debut album is now upon us, and there’s been a bit more evolution in the sound since then.
While the tight garage rock energy is still there, Los Pepes For Everyone shows a new poppier side to the band which recalls The Ramones and Buzzcocks. Think a more melodic version of Dirt Box Disco or Spunk Volcano & The Eruptions, or a southern version of the Cyanide Pills, and you wouldn’t be a million miles off. For some reason, it’s the sort of music you can imagine going down very well across the Channel in France where bands like the Boys and Generation X made a serious impact.
The only problem is that, while generally this is a sound album, it becomes a bit samey over the course of twelve tracks. While the likes of All I Can Do, Alone In The City, Guilty Pleasures and the rollicking closer Tonight all pack enough of a punch to carry them through, Los Pepes let themselves down a bit on the likes of I Won’t Fall In Love and Modern Life which just sound unremarkable and aren’t helped by the slightly muddy production.
Overall, this is a decent debut, but I get the impression it doesn’t quite show what Los Pepes are truly capable of (especially compared to their earlier EP). A bit more bite might have helped to elevate this from being a good album into a truly standout one.
Don't get me wrong, this is a good album but somehow it feels like it doesn't quite show Los Pepes at full tilt. It could just be that the production on here is a bit flat and doesn't really help things, I can imagine a lot of these songs really coming into their own in the live arena, but on this record they don't quite punch through and grab you the way they should. Hopefully next time they can sort this out, and really show us how good they can sound when they're allowed to properly cut loose.