Review: ‘Pimpbot’ makes transition
REVIEW BY JOHN BERGER / firstname.lastname@example.org
Pimpbot’s self-titled third album marks the group’s 10th anniversary, and with it the introduction of a new lineup and a new sound.
Pimpbot is now officially a quintet — Fernando “The Love Machine” Pacheco (vocals, trombone, percussion), Tim Coleman (guitars, backing vocals), Rylan Yee (bass), Eric Lagrimas (drums) and Nic Ramos (trumpet, vocals). However, with Ray Farias playing tenor sax on 11 of the 12 songs, the group is heard here as a de facto sextet with a solid three-man horn section.
The transition from being a 20-something to a 30-something is a recurring theme. The guys set the mood with “Meet You At The Bar,” a tough-love song about getting older and dealing with frustration, unfulfilled dreams and reality. “Give up hope, dreams are for suckers,” is the message; meeting friends at a bar is their recommendation for a short-term antidote.
Alcohol is also the key that frees a hardworking everyman from his “cage” — a rare but welcome event described in “Tiger.” The good old days of youth when carefree males could hang out in bars “til 4 a.m. getting sloppy” are mourned in “Used To Have Fun.”
Other songs are more enigmatic. Does “Zombie Fasi” blame the late mayor for the problems Oahu now faces? Or does it mourn his absence and wish he could be brought back for another term?
Tight instrumental arrangements are the foundation throughout. The horn section rules on many of the arrangements; Pacheco can play as wild and raucous as ever. Guitarist Coleman opens “Please Be A Ninja” with a powerful buzzsaw riff that leads into Lagrimas’ driving drum beats. Bassist Lee gets a short but well-deserved solo on “Man You Missed Out.”
Pimpbot goes “unplugged” with the final song, “Beer and Homies.” It’s arranged and produced to sound like a bunch of semidrunk guys sitting around drinking and singing, and shows that the group still has a sense of humor. Watch it become a popular audience participation number at their shows.