Certain sounds, certain styles just seem to engrain themselves into the landscape of some areas. California, for instance, has a rich punk lineage, one with its own character, its own favour.
Hailing from Los Angeles, together PANGEA could easily fit into this bracket. The band’s raucous riffs, their brattish sense of humour is sheer West Coast – yet there’s an individuality here. These are the kids, you suspect, who’d never quite fit in anywhere.
“I think we’ve always been by default associated with it, especially the garage rock scene,” explains bassist and co-vocalist Danny Bengston. “I don’t think we’ve ever intentionally tried to be a punk band or fit into anything. We do like punk, we’re fans of punk rock – I grew up on punk rock. It’s out of being surrounded in California by a scene, it’s just by default you end up maybe fitting into that.”
Working with hugely respected independent label Burger Records, the band fuse blistering garage punk with a gleeful, get-high-stay-loose temperament. Perhaps that owes something to the band’s origins, with together PANGEA forming after no small amount of under age boozing.
“I’d go to William (Keegan, guitar and vocals)’s house,” Danny continues, “and there was a liquor store around the corner that would sell us alcohol even though we were under age. We would just buy whiskey and f*ck around, jam together all day long.”
Cult heroes in the States, a deal with Island is set to allow British fans to become acquainted. The band’s new EP ‘Sick Shit’ is out now, a four-track document of how to party hard in a recession climate.
“Anything you can get your hands on which is a together PANGEA recording, it’s recorded and produced by Andrew Shubert,” Danny explains. “If it’s a sailing ship, we’re the one dealing with the sails and he’s the one guiding the ship.”
Too broke to afford a full studio, the band recorded the material on downtime at a major label complex. “We actually record after hours. When Andrew’s boss isn’t around, we go in. We would probably get in around midnight and be there until 5am. We recorded the songs over the course of several months. We’re definitely sneaky!”
Yet it seems to be contagious. A recent episode of NCIS: Los Angeles saw LL Cool J use the band’s album as a vital piece of evidence, and recent British shows saw many new admirers flock to their cause.
“So far, it feels great,” Danny says. “We’re very comfortable here (in Britain), we had a good time last night with a few of the people that we met. We sorta went to a show and had some drinks in a pub.
“We got lost in the streets, so had the full experience in the rain. It feels good. It doesn’t feel that foreign – apart from the accents. And the rain!”
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WHO: Brattish garage punk with a dirty sense of humour
WHERE: Los Angeles
GET 3 SONGS: ‘Sick Shit’, ‘Too Drunk To Cum’, ‘Snakedog’ (video above)
FACT: NCIS scriptwriters originally intended to use Metallica for their show, but then opted for something rather more underground, ultimately turning to together PANGEA.
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Words: Robin Murray
together PANGEA online. See them live as follows…
16th – King Tut’s, Glasgow
17th – Soup Kitchen, Manchester
18th – Bodega, Nottingham
19th – Old Blue Last, London