Together PANGEA


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After making a jump from the friendly confines of Burger Records to the newly revitalized Harvest Records (legendary home of much great British folk and prog), one might expect the scruffy lads in together PANGEA to have cleaned up their snotty, snarling garage punk and delivered something more refined on their debut for the label, Badillac. In fact they have done exactly that. The invigorating, decidedly lo-fi sound of their first album, Living Dummy, has been replaced by a beefy, manly power that takes loads of inspiration from the post-garage and beat era when groups like the Pretty Things started growing mustaches and muscles. Songs like "Make Myself True" and "Depress" still have some garage rock in their DNA, and their chord progressions, but the guitars are so loud and strong, the drums so thunderous, and the bass so rippingly tough that there's no doubt the bandmembers have moved on from their origins to something more grown-up. They also show an obvious affection for grunge-era chord sequences and many of the songs have the feel of classic Pixies ("Badillac") or Nirvana ("Sick Shit"), only with super weedy vocals and a less anthemic style. The group is at its best when harnessing these two influences and utilizing them in tandem with a catchy song. "River" and the rampaging "Alive" are the best examples of this, but they are few and far between. Too often together PANGEA seem like they are going through the rawk motions without much inspiration. Matters aren't helped much by William Keegan's nondescript vocals, the sometimes cringe-inducing lyrics, or the textbook guitar solos. Neither does the fact that there are quite a few bands picking at grunge's calcified bones, many of them in ways that are more interesting than what together PANGEA are doing here. There's enough energy and noise on Badillac to make it worth a listen on a slow day, but after that first spin it's unlikely that one will feel compelled to go back for more.

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