From the living dummies to now the bulls of punk rock, together PANGEA is a band that raises eyebrows and stomps feet from the cheerful, grasping, but still realistic style of surf that transcends the standard check-list of other groups. Where together PANGEA succeeds is in their fun, beach moving waves and ability to create a reason to dance behind the rugged, but never rough style they protrude.
Their sound has changed; they have evolved slightly, but together PANGEA is still that same lovable misfit in the music world from the past releases. They open their newest record, Bulls and Roosters with “Sippy Cup”, an instant percussion clasping, guitar rising, harmonic vocal performance that sets the tone for Bulls and Roosters. Even into their now fourth studio release, together PANGEA can still strum and play along to a child-esque style of wonder as they collectively gather to sing choruses together and play like a loose, but still bound machine. William Keegan is the lead vocalist and guitar player on Bulls and Roosters, while Erik Jimenez leads the percussion and Denny Bengston rips on the bass, backing vocals, and keyboards. Together PANGEA also features a mystery fourth member on their cover, who can be identified only as Roland Cosio who grinds along on the guitar on both Bulls and Roosters and on their tours where together PANGEA can be seen jumping off stages and doing national shows. The band has never seemed to be tighter musically and each track is consecutively a hit after hit.
Going from “Sippy Cup” to the more melodic and slowed “Money on It” is a drastic change, but together PANGEA uses each track as a transitional phase where they can be screaming and pounding their instruments in one moment, then entirely switch to a graceful flaunt where everything seems to click into place. “Money on It” is one of the tracks that displays how the mood can be drastically changed, even multiple times throughout the cut and still have the Earth-shattering, bring a tear to the eye chorus that is just simply beautiful behind the writing. Keegan explains in an angst-ridden cry for help, “We can talk until we talk it out…when we talk it’s always screaming, we can wait until we’re bleeding”. These lines, when paired with the build-ups of vocal harmonies and percussion makes for one of the more-memorable tracks coming from together PANGEA. The instruments have a certain loopy feeling with high notes that play elaborately, but also delicately as they channel into the following, “Better Find Out”.
Ditching the close and tenderness of “Money on It”, together PANGEA decides to leap head first into the pool, guns-a-blazing with a focus on the abrasive nature of their previous styles that not only is incredibly energetic, but has abrupt endings as the track is by far the shortest cut on Bulls and Roosters. The short distance is needed as “Better Find Out” is a feedback-ridden rush with crashing cymbals that reign over the multiple layers of backing and foreground instrumentation that makes together PANGEA seem like a bull in a china shop. The sudden destruction is more than welcome to stay, but together PANGEA takes multiple approaches on Bulls and Roosters, never staying in one place too long as they fluctuate between the breakneck aggression of surf punk, to the relaxed style of indie rock legends. “Southern Comfort” is another track that shines well with the abrasive style of how together PANGEA’s older style rears its head in a manner of instantly recognizable style. Their music is best experienced with five other people crammed into one car before the night even begins, blasting their music and screaming in what seems like an area to small to even breath. The random nights of cemetery runs, house shows, or just simply breaking and entering.
Together PANGEA is a band that is adaptable within themselves and show areas of progression in just how incredible the mixing is, the production that shines like a beacon, and the charm that together PANGEA always had. The final moments of Bulls and Roosters is just as entertaining as the beginning stages and together PANGEA never shows a sign of becoming fatigued, or having tracks of filler. Each cut is a unique, and highly re-playable track that captures the fun of turning the record up to eleven and jumping out the window in the dead of night.