Words by Eric Gasa
Together Pangea have always been loyal to their youthful personas; the slackerisms, the dirty guitar solos, William Keegan’s bratty garage punk vocal. It’s a sound synonymous with the palm trees and the LA skyline. Just ask FIDLAR, Ty Segall, The Black Lips, or any of the dozen or so bands just like them on the Burger Records roster. If it’s not broke don’t fix it; even if it all kind of sounds the same. But that shouldn’t stop anyone from enjoying the unabashed riffs and wails of Together Pangea’s newest record, Bulls and Roosters, a wiser album that finds the band cooling off just enough for listeners not to burn their tongue.
A Together Pangea album is not exactly a thinking man’s record, but that’s because the sticky melodies have all the muscle to round house kick their way into your ear. On Bulls and Roosters, the four-piece make the hooks sweeter without losing the punch they’ve had since day one.
The messy tangle of guitars and Keegan’s voice on “Sippy Cup” is the band at their most personable; a loopy affair that nods and struts like an outtake from The Kinks.
“I woke up to get out/I went to brush my teeth but they all just fell out,” sings Keegan, “It was only a dream!”
Filthy guitar lines and shadowy vocal inflections can be heard throughout the record. “The Cold” finds a sweet spot between psych rock and the dusty country croon of Beck’s Odelay. The song has a certain twang to it; cue the spaghetti western whistle melodies, of course.
“Money on It” is the sweetest cut on Bulls and Roosters. It’s a swaying, homegrown rock & roll melody reminiscent of oldies like The Stones as well as newbies like Twin Peaks. The chorus heaves up and down like Keegan was singing from a rowboat.
It’s obvious that this man has his work cut out for him in this relationship; “You’ve been walking around when I’m sleeping/I’ve been thinking about leaving/When we talk there’s always screaming/We can wait until we’re bleeding,” sings Keegan, with a raspy quiver in his throat. Keegan spills about his troubles with addiction and the toll it takes on the romance. By the song’s end the guy is begging on his hands and knees for love to win out.
Clocking in with 13 songs in only 36 minutes, there are a string of expectedly lightweight tracks on Bulls and Roosters. All too often does the band make a habit out of bludgeoning guitars and shouting about young, free love. Some like “Better Find Out”, “Stare at The Sun” and “Friend of Nothing” aren’t too discernible from each other, but at the album’s core there is still a tight litter of solid songs with style to spare.
“Peach Mirror” makes a lighthearted melody out of addiction, indulgence, and self-loathing. Keegan sings the lines “I’m lost, lonely and high” like a lullaby and wears it like a nice t-shirt. It’s an unashamedly hopeless song that reminds me of the proud, drunk, beach-nihilism of Girls. On Bulls and Roosters, Together Pangea reminds listeners how it feels to be broke, young, and happy.
The album cover exemplifies the band itself; four bewildered, messy-looking dudes in perfect, pleasing composition. The drum fills and bass rolls lock together while the vocals and guitars bang around in a frenzy. On Bulls and Roosters, the songs stream out with sparks flying.
‘Bulls And Roosters’
© August 25, 2017
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