Gregory Pepper & His Problems
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Gregory Pepper & His Problems


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This band has not uploaded any videos



""these songs will set up shop in your brain...""

For a few years now, Gregory Pepper has been quietly proving himself to be the best Canadian songwriter still flying under the radar. In his latest effort, Escape From Crystal Skull Mountain, he weaves his trademark pop gems into a cohesive and powerful album. The songs are short — the longest track clocks in at under three minutes, and the average length is about a minute and a half — but, almost without fail, they are catchy and lyrically resplendent. Make no mistake: these songs will set up shop in your brain and put themselves on repeat. I’ve never had so many different tracks from one album stuck in my head and it’s a testament to Pepper’s songwriting skills that this is a pleasant affliction. The album has a loose concept but the songs touch on everything from childhood nostalgia in “Wandering By” to Faulknerian ghost sex in “Dearly Departed” (sample lyric: “My baby was six feet under but now she’s under the covers with me”). Death, as in every Pepper production, merrily stalks the lyric sheet. - Edmonton Journal

""An intelligently crafted pop album...""

With Trumpets Flaring is a classic bedroom pop record, full of sweet sounds contemplating topics of grim introspection.

There are no actual trumpets, but there’s a waltz about suicide ("If You Try"), a grinning prostitution ditty ("I Was A John"), and "It Must Be True" features a perfect Brian Wilson moment when Pepper, self-harmonizing with multiple overdubs, croons, "This is your brain on self-hatred."

Not that the album is a total bummer. As a whole, it’s actually quite light-hearted. Pepper not only sugarcoats his heavy topics, but he adds silliness to songs with eclectic production and composition choices. The first tune starts with an accordion melody that leads into a cheap Casio disco with vocals like Max Headroom singing Beach Boys karaoke. There’s even a guest opera singer on the album’s penultimate track, "Gregory Pepper Coronation."

Despite the unusual songs, the record flows so smoothly that first time listeners will likely find themselves the track number to see if they’re hearing a new song. This is an intelligently crafted pop album. Keep your eye on Gregory Pepper And His Problems. - Chart Attack

""Brian Wilson, you've met your match...""

Brian Wilson, you've met your match. Okay, toss aside that hyperbole and just spend some time with Escape From Crystal Skull Mountain, the latest album from Guelph, Ontario's wunderkind Gregory Pepper. Then, feel free to make your own judgement calls. But hot damn, if this album isn't something.

The disc begins with the breezy and freewheeling "All Are Welcome," a gorgeous introduction and the first of 15 reasons why Pepper is a force to be reckoned with. Reason two is the buoyant and bubbly "Persona Non Grata." Think Laurel Canyon or 70s era album rock. The jocular "I Don't Feel Like Playing Air Guitar Tonight," is piano-based and arguably one of the album's best. Direct, straightforward and undeniably potent, it's the kind of song that Pepper can wear on his lapel with pride. It is also here that one can see Pepper is not inclined to take himself too seriously. Whereas many artists force the issue far too easily, Pepper seems fine mixing it up and making a mockery of himself as a musician. Further proof is the funk horns on the summery "Do the 'Die Inside," and the brisk foray "Wandering By," a doe-eyed look at nostalgia, and more specifically, childhood.

That is not to say that Pepper isn't afraid to get serious. On the lilting "Follow it Home," he employs a sorrowful trumpet and a glitchy electro-beat to drive his point home. It is also here that he allows his strong-lunged croon to do all the work. And it is here that Pepper makes all the sense in the world. If "Follow it Home," is not one of the year's best songs, then what in the hell is music coming to? Seriously, listen to it. One word: Amazing.

On the serious side of things there is also the feathery and light "Cardboard Mausoleums," and the Ben Folds-eque "Note to Self," which shuffles along with a glistening merriment that is nothing short of brilliant. Horns jump to the forefront on "Dearly Departed," which at 2:49 is the longest song on the album.

More reasons to digest and love this album include the jaunty Beatles-esque "Another Stitch," and the effervescent and sunny, "Breathe In." The disc rounds out with the slow waltz "Despair's Mustache," and the jittery and jumpy "Waaay!," before rounding things out with the triumphant and tremendous "Born to Die." Plain and simple, if this song does not move you, may fate save your soul.

And so it ends. 17 songs, 45 minutes, and each one an absolute knockout. Lord knows if Gregory Pepper is his given name, Lord knows if he'll make another album, and Lord knows if anybody on this site will love this album. But after just one listen, there's little reason to think anyone won't. This is pure pop genius and an absolute charmer. - Absolute Punk

""Gorgeous and Glorious...""

"Gorgeous and glorious, Gregory Pepper is the surprise underground pop find of the year, and With Trumpets Flaring is an astounding display of crafty musicianship. A former member of Montreal's the Dymaxions, Pepper taps into the demented genius/ambition of Brian Wilson for his orchestral pop songs, which are head-scratchingly great. The lo-fi aesthetic of 'I Was a John' belies a refined musical mind, one sharp enough to keep many layers of instrumentation straight. 'Drop the Plot' traces the textural line between Devo and Sebadoh, while sonic cornerstone 'It Must be True' is the purest representation of what the Beach Boys might sound like if their talents peaked in 2009. The endearingly dark 'If You Try', a morbidly reassuring suicide shopping list, finds Pepper sounding like a doo-wop-loving sociopath. Yet there's so much light emanating throughout the caverns of With Trumpets Flaring that it's a remarkably bright, faux-naïve pop record that must be heard. (Fake Four Inc.)' - Exclaim! Magazine


"Escape From Crystal Skull Mountain" (Fake Four, 2012)
"With Trumpets Flaring" (Fake Four, 2009)
"Gregory Pepper & His Problems" (Independent, 2008)



GREGORY PEPPER is said to make quirky, pinball pop - manically bouncing between musical ideas with carefree abandon. Following a brief foray into hip-pop as Common Grackle and the subsequent rockabilly band that stemmed from that release, Pepper has returned to the singer/songwriter fold, melding buoyant melodies with morose narratives. Joined by members of Legato Vipers and Bry Webb & the Providers, the live show trade in the baroque tendencies of ‘Escape From Crystal Skull Mountain' (2012) in favour of punkish wantonness.