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Album Review
Red Velvet Snow Ball

Red Velvet Snow Ball
by Pepper Rabbit

Kanine Records

Review Date
14th October 2011
Reviewed by
Luke Merson

Pepper Rabbit are a two-piece hailing from Los Angeles, with a sound infinitely larger than the diminutive line up might suggest. Their sound is a textured, synth infused take on the folk-pop craze of the last few years. Red Velvet Snow Ball is the duo’s second album, and it finds the pair crafting a cleaner, more professional sound than their debut album Beauregard. Like Grizzly Bear’s Yellow House, Pepper Rabbit recorded their first album in someone’s home, away from a studio. The studio setting for Red Velvet Snow Ball sees the band taking their sound in new, brighter direction.

Xander Singh and Luc Laurent manage to disguise Pepper rabbit as an epic sized band by layering instrument upon instrument on each recording. Their musicianship is stunning, with a host of instruments accounted for, even some sly horns and clarinets.

The album opens with “Lake House”. The song is full of catchy piano melodies and poppy synth bleeps. Singh immediately displays why Pepper Rabbit may be a breakthrough artist in the future; his vocal tone is strong and unique, not too dissimilar to Taylor Rice of Local Natives. The song bubbles away at the end with a synth sound that matches Animal Collective’s song Peacebone.

“Allison” nicely displays the Duo’s multi instrumental and layering talents. An effect laden intro sifts behind a dominant bass and eventually gives way to tinkering bells and pretty vocal harmonies. The song seems to impart its stalker like message better with more volume, “Can’t you see/it’s all a game/to get you/ to learn my name”. The dreamy Grizzly Bear like harmonies lose the battle to a crashing synth near the end of the song.

One of the band’s singles is “Murder Room”. The song contains some of Singh’s strongest vocal work during the catchy chorus. Quirky synth nicely breaks up the verses and the song seems to be building up nicely but unfortunately it fades too soon, falling well short of being an album best track.

Pepper Rabbit have created a very solid album with Red Velvet Snow Ball. The main detractor is that the songs seem to blend into one another a little too well, with only three of the ten tracks being markedly memorable. Pepper Rabbit need to look to combine the catchiness of this release with the intimacy of Beauregard, to create a sound that will make them a big name in years to come. The album is definitely worth because Pepper Rabbit is a band destined for future success.


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