(A weekly column where we take a look at the latest sounds from the Other Half of California)
by Mariana Timony
Rock and roll comes in many forms, but at its core it’s about one thing: sex. That’s why young men are capable of making exceptionally good rock and roll – cuz sex is all they think about. With this in mind, consider pub rock. Americans never really had the genre, but to the Brits it’s basically super basic, dirty rock and roll that plays well to basic, dirty people.
We were reminded of it at the TRMRS tape release show last friday night, where the star of the evening wasn’t the skater bros from Costa Mesa, but supporting band Pangea, who, as far as we’re concerned, blew everybody else off the stage with a set of banged out pop punk that was all about getting fucked and getting fucked, if you know what I mean.
On record you can clearly hear the shiny tones of California pop bands past playing out in Pangea’s tunes, but we’re calling this music pub rock on a philosophical level. Unlike many of their contemporaries, Pangea aren’t burying their music in shit tons of reverb and dosing it with orange sunshine. Nothing heady, just loud guitars and crashing drums and songs about being being pissed off and pissed up or hungover or all three at once. It’s juvenilia you can sing along with. The charmingly titled “Too Drunk to Cum” is the catchiest track on the Living Dummy, Pangea’s new-ish record, originally released on cassette and soon to be re-released on vinyl by Burger Records and CD by Lauren Records. It’s a solid album, but doesn’t capture the manic, youthful energy we witnessed at their live show; pub rock always did lose something in the translation from pub to studio.
Lest you think we’re insulting these fine hooligans by calling them a bar band, just remember that Pangea’s in fine company. As our British companion points out, even the Stranglers – who share Pangea’s penchant for pairing laddish humor with hardcore pop – were considered pub rock, so it’s no slam. Unless you hate the Stranglers, in which case you suck. But if you long for the days when rock was crude and boys were boys, stream Living Dummy here and catch Pangea when they play Hemlock Tavern on August 28th as part of the last week of Total Trash Fest 3. We’ll see you there. – MT
Image Credit: Pangea