Here at the Send Me Your Ears studio, we were thrilled to be listening to the Down South Pepper Band again. Having recently reviewed their single, Son Of A Gun, we’ve been looking forward to their latest single, Moving Down South, to reach the top of our reviews pile.
The Down South Pepper Band are an authentic Southern Rock/ Country band all the way from… Northern Norway! The band consist of Rune Nyby on vocals and bass, Per Øyvind Mathisen on guitars and organ and Eivind Kløverød on drums and percussion.
Moving Down South is a song about getting a new start, even if you actually didn’t want a new start. It is a thrilling Country Rock ride and displays some great humour in the lyrics as well as some expert musicianship from the whole band.
The song comes in immediately with the full band sound, and the vocals join the mix swiftly afterwards. The layered vocals are a nice touch and add some depth to the overall sound. As the song progresses, we hear an organ join the mix, helping fill out the sound even more.
The four-on-the-floor kick drum keeps everything in check and moves the song along with great energy. We could hear just a touch of brush-train-style percussion happening too, which added to the whole feel of being on the move.
We loved the halftime section after the guitar solo which had us all nodding our heads in appreciation. This led into a breakdown-style chorus which displayed some superb vocals.
We simply must draw attention to the world-class country guitar picking from Mathisen. This was what really made the song for us. Very reminiscent of early Dire Straits albums (especially Dire Straits: Dire Straits), this truly was a real highlight in what was already a thoroughly captivating track.
From a production perspective, we’d suggest a boost centred around 80Hz would thicken up the low end nicely and a small cut around 500Hz would reduce some slightly ‘honky’ tones. A high shelf boost in the top octave would brighten up the track a bit too, especially the hi-hats and cymbals. A small cut around 7.5kHz would reduce some excessive sibilance in the vocal track. A single band compressor on the top two octaves with some make up gain would add even more brightness to the backing track without increasing the brightness in the vocals too much. Finally, a light compressor / limiter on the main track with maybe 3dB of make up gain would add some extra warmth and thickness as well as raise the overall volume a little more. As always, these are just some ideas from us.
Down South Pepper Band are producing fun, exciting and authentic Southern US States music from Norway. They are an absolute joy to listen to and we would urge anyone who loves a little country picking to take a listen to this superb band.