With its Harvest Records 2014 debut Badillac, popular SoCal pop-punk act together PANGEA take a huge sonic leap forward, beyond simple-minded garage-punk into more depth and sincerity. “It might be confusing for people, assuming we’re like this garage-punk band and then hearing this record,” says together PANGEA singer-songwriter and guitarist William Keegan on the band’s website. “But we really don’t want to get trapped at all.”
While the band (formerly just Pangea) has evolved, don’t think for one instant together PANGEA has grown up. Badillac is full of snot-nosed energy, scab-picking punk attitude and who-gives-a-shit production value. Track one “Alive” is as heavy as Black Flag, the track “Badillac” should be rock single of the year and “Depress” features Keegan shrieking the Kurt Cobain-Frank Black-esque “Depress! Depress! Depress!” “Sick Shit” features the profoundly juvenile couplet: “My dick is soft/ These things mean nothing to me” (this is, after all, the same band that sings “Too Drunk to Come” from 2011’s Living Dummy).
“To me, the album is so obviously influenced by the shit that I was listening to when I was 16,” Keegan continues, “Growing up in the ’90s, all that stuff — Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Weezer. For whatever reason, the music you listened to when you’re confused and young gets in deeper than anything you might listen to later.”
But here’s the things: Along with Cloud Nothings’ Dylan Baldi, together PANGEA vocalist William Keegan might just be one of the millennial generation’s best and most surprising young songwriters. If together PANGEA doesn’t quicken your pulse you might already be dead.
together Pangea play with Oakland’s surf rockers Meat Market 8 pm Wednesday, Aug. 27, at Cozmic; $8 advance, $10 door.