Album review: Take Out a Twenty and Live Life to the Fullest

Ashley Wadhwani, Arts & Entertainment Editor Ω

Image courtesy Six Shooter Records

Image courtesy Six Shooter Records

If you’re looking for a band that can offer true rock with a subtle folk twist, look no further than Harlan Pepper.

A group of four young men in their early 20s is not who’s expected to be producing music that goes against the grain of typical music created by young people today. But Dan Edmonds, Thompson Wilson, Jimmy Hayes and Marlon Nicolle are certainly doing something right.

Their newest album, Take Out a Twenty and Live Life to the Fullest, released on March 11, brings the good vibes. With a variety of styles, the 11-track album is fun, creative and real.

The four-man band not only has great chemistry, with all of them being friends since kindergarten according to their website, but they also share an impressive instrumental resumé.

With a conjoined knowledge of piano, organ, harmonica, acoustic and electric guitar, drums and other percussion, slide guitar and bass, you know before even listening to the first track that your ears are about to hear something unique.

Harlan Pepper knows its strengths and uses them well: choosing a good beat, infusing some groovy easy-listening rhythm, and tying their package all together with better-than-decent vocals to match their impressive instrumental decisions.

A few of their songs, like “I’ve Been Dead/Oh Brother,” “Party Shoes” and “Risky Business” have a few seconds too long of an instrumental introduction or transition between verses, causing your ears to lose interest because they’ve become so infatuated with the solid vocals.

Take Out a Twenty and Live Life to the Fullest succeeds because the instrumentals and vocals act as an unbreakable mutually exclusive pair.

The more you listen to Harlan Pepper’s new album, the more it grows on you in the same way any song becomes your favourite song; you hear it on the radio once, and for a while you’re happy with it being played at the top of every hour.

I dare you to try and keep “Allison” from getting stuck in your head.

Speaking of songs you hear on the radio, I wouldn’t be surprised if this group makes its way onto the airwaves of the rock station in your area.