Los Pepes – Positive Negative

Los Pepes
Positive Negative
Wanda Records, Adrenalin Fix Music, Snap! Records, Spaghetty Town and God’s Candy Records
March 26, 2019

London’s Los Pepes are back again with their fourth full-length album. Positive Negative is a straight to the point high-energy rock n’ roll album. It’s a lot less poppy than past releases and carries forward a lot more of the intensity you get from the band when they play live. A lot of bands lose steam as time goes on, but Los Pepes are quite the opposite.

This band is full of immensely talented and seasoned musicians, with each album they churn out showing progress from the one before. I’m generally someone that prefers shorter songs – anything over two minutes is long to me, and with the shortest track on Positive Negative clocking in at two-minutes and 31 seconds, they’re certainly on the ‘longer’ end of my spectrum.

With that being said, Los Pepes are the type of band that can carry energy through lengthier song without losing your attention. Positive Negative has the perfect mixture of grit and speed. The pacing of the songs and the catchy hooks and lyrics make this album even more engaging than their previous works.

While I do think some of the songs shine much better when played on their own, I don’t necessarily find that to be a bad thing. The album as a whole has a great flow to it, and I find it to be a pretty positive note that the songs I overlook when listening to it from start to finish are so capable of standing out on their own as individual tracks. Generally, the songs that don’t shine for me when I listen to an album all the way through never give me that spark, so this is a pretty unique quality.

The opening track ‘Still Belong to Me’ is the perfect “we’re back!” statement. It’s jam-packed with all of the elements that give it the perfect Los Pepes punch. It’s got a lot of the signature sounds you expect from a Los Pepes song and it’s full of energy and charisma. When combined with lyrics like, “no matter where you go girl, you still belong to me,” and “I’m just hanging round as always,” it creates a great reminder that this isn’t a band you can easily forget about. Other notable tracks for me were ‘Ain’t Life Easy’ and ‘Frustration.’

They made a video for the title track ‘Positive Negative’ back in January and just uploaded a video for the third track, ‘Let Me Tell You Something.’ When I listen to ‘Let Me Tell You Something’ on the album, it felt more like a transition track, partially because two of my favourite tracks on the album, ‘Still Belong to Me’ and ‘Positive Negative,’ directly precede it.

 

But seeing Los Pepes jam it out as a stand-alone track made me realise what a great song it actually is. Plus, it’s absolutely hilarious watching three of my good friends, including former Heatwave columnist and wife to Los Pepes’ singer, Betty Pondikakis, chase the boys around trying to kill them.

The album closes out with their cover of ‘Action’ by The Knots. I’ve seen them play the cover live a few times and it’s a great crowd pleaser. They speed it up and make it very Los Pepes.

This is a great introduction to Los Pepes, if you haven’t heard them already, but I firmly believe Los Pepes are a band that’s best experienced live. If you’re in the UK, be sure to catch them at their London album launch at the Nambucca on April 26 or in Bristol the following day. Spanish fans will also be pleased to hear that the band will be touring there from May 1. Be sure to check in with the Pepes for dates and venues.

-Linsey McFadden