While their name evokes candy-colored images of rock revivalists like The White Stripes, The Burning Peppermints’ sound is hard to pin to any single influence. Rock champions like Jack White and Led Zeppelin clearly served as early influences, but the Peppermints have fused a visceral combination of dingy garage rock and West Coast surf, all delivered via an infamously aggressive live performance.
Jake Wittig’s workhorse guitars are laden with fuzz, and alternate between groove-heavy riffs and devastating chords in tandem with rhythm agent Ahmad Farzad. Wittig’s tonal dynamics recall the monstrous crunch of Thee Oh Sees’ John Dwyer, while vocals suggest the manic charisma of Ty Segall. Farzad administers bass and baritone via guitar, allowing him a sweeping range of unfathomable low registers and sharp, cutting notes. Ryan Colebeck holds the entire volatile ensemble together with airtight percussion.
The Burning Peppermints formed in 2012, after Wittig began jamming on garage rock tunes with an abandoned drum kit. Lineups changed and styles evolved over time, and the Peppermints gigged relentlessly throughout the erupting music scene in Birmingham, Alabama. The band quickly earned an enthusiastic following, playing in alleyways, breweries, and lately working their way into genre-defying music festivals.
The group has shared the stage with touring acts like The Dirty Lungs, Diarrhea Planet, and St. Paul & the Broken Bones, and have developed a reputation for their genuine intensity. The Burning Peppermints put on a viciously engaging show, and audiences can’t help but move to the driving sounds generated by the frenzied band.
“If a band is just going to play their music for an audience and not perform the hell out of it and try to connect with them, then you might as well just plug someone’s iPod into the venue’s PA and everyone can just sit and listen to it together,” says Wittig.
While composure is ripped away on stage, the musicianship never fails- It takes over. Many artists explain that their instruments are an extension of themselves, but The Burning Peppermints are clearly the mortal conduits of a wild and instinctive sonic force.