Pepper @ the Warfield

(Photo by Mark K Ley)

It’s. Just. Not. Fair. There are a slew of subgenres within reggae — like roots, lovers rock, deejay, dancehall, raggamuffin, and reggaeton — and yet there is no term in particular for the island-style of reggae coming out of Hawaii. Since reggae is all about being chill and laidback, I’ll end my tirade there, but it is a bit annoying when you’re a music journalist writing about bands from the aina and having to describe them as “rock reggae,” even though that term hardly does justice. Pepper is one such band. Formed in the late ’90s by two kānes who went to middle school together on the Big Island, the band, which is now a trio, makes chord-heavy, harmony-centric jams that oscillate between mellow, dubbed out roots rock numbers and frenetic, punk and ska-inspired ditties. Though Pepper now operates out of San Diego, Hawaii is still in the band’s lifeblood, and you can hear numerous references to it — be it through traditional Hawaiian words, pidgin phrases, or locals-only tropes — in their most recent album, Ohana.

With Less Than Jake, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Warfield. $25-$35;

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