The line-up of Pep Talk reads like a cast of comic book characters: Rocky, Rookie, Guli, Azeem, Grivetis. You may know this gang from their work in The Young Rochelles, The New Rochelles, Sketchy, House Boat and The Steinways. Is Pep Talk is a nod to the Descendents song? I am not sure, but it’s a great name for the upbeat old school pop punk they blast out of the speakers. To be sure, Pep Talk sounds decidedly more Ramones and Screeching Weasel oriented than Descendents – CJ makes a cameo on Trespass.They are the kind of band that would fit perfectly on Lookout! Records, Mutant Pop or Stardumb and songs like Next To Me and Dumb Love would not look out of place on those infamous Lookout! samplers back in the ’90s. Next To Me has the most hit potential, and its pop perfect melody even works really well in a 8-bit chiptune remix.
There are a lot of pop punk bands that have cool fast songs, but the best bands also know how to write killer midpaced pop punk tracks. Pep Talk certainly pass that test with songs like Who Would’ve Thought and Big Big Baby. But still, most of Live, Laugh, Lobotomy though is tailor-made for people with short attention spans and a desire for speedy punk. Throughout it all, this record is a blast, and it’s kinda crazy that Hey Pizza! Records released it on the same day they as the Capgun Heroes debut LP. What a week for fans of pop punk!