Let’s get something clear right off the bat.
Never finger wrestle Pepe. This is especially important if you get the impression that he doesn’t like you. He’ll just break two of your fingers, keep drinking, and laugh a lot about it. He’ll then spend multiple days insulting your country and calling you a wimp. He’ll then say some shit in Finnish which you won’t understand and then eventually be on his way and move onto the next target in another city.
Now, I am not saying this stuff to be insulting or anything like that. I don’t think this type of talk could hurt Pepe’s feelings. I almost wonder if he has feelings, but then I remember him laughing a lot and his massive smile. The differences between cultures can be enormous at times and I think both Pepe and I were suffering from miscommunication due to cultural differences. All that aside, Pepe is not a wimp. He has the hands and the music to prove it.
Much like the art of finger wrestling, Pepe’s music is not really strong and brutal in a Sylvester Stallone sort of way. Instead of being all buffed up and bulky like most night time peak hour music, this stuff is carefully refined with precision. Pepe’s music is more like a psychedelic auditory Michael Phelps.
From his early days as O*Men, to his more known work as part of Squaremeat, Pepe has been serving up proper psychedelic music since the mid 90’s. He has also collaborated with many people under a wealth of monikers, most famous of these is Flying Scorpions with Timo of Texas Faggott fame. But now, with Lightaman Jr, Pepe has released his first full length solo album and it is amazing. Simply amazing.
This album is brutal. It never lets up. It drills into your head and rolls forward, constantly dragging you along the psychedelic gravel of the road ahead. In many ways, I consider Pepe’s style to be a more psychedelic take on the classic X-Dream sound. X-Dream’s album Radio gave birth to a unique form of psychedelic trance. It was more techno-esque and every note felt like a box. It was almost as if there were no half notes, just many many quarter and eight notes blended together to give the impression of continued sound. Lightaman Jr has taken that feel and then covered it in mushroom spores thereby giving birth to a sonic experience that is unlike any other.
The 10 tracks on here never let up, never slow down, never take it easy on you, and never say it’s sorry. The music is unapologetic in its brutal massiveness, much like how Pepe is unapologetic after leaving his wake of destruction and broken bones throughout the world. While I intend to live the rest of my life without ever finger wresting Pepe again, I truly hope to experience as much of his music as possible. If you are wise, you’ll heed my advice and follow my lead. However, if you decide to take on the great Pepe in a finger wrestling battle, I’ll gladly buy you a beer if you break one of his fingers.
Just be careful and don’t break them too badly. I’d hate for him to permanently lose the use of the tools that he needs for writing more of his awesome and unique style of music.