Together PANGEA, a three-piece band from Los Angeles, took the stage at the Black Cat backstage Tuesday night. The indie grunge band captivated the small audience, perfectly suiting the intimate venue that allowed the fans to get close to the stage. The setting was dark; a perfect fit for the raw, honest and sometimes vulgar lyrics. The audience, comprised of die-hard fans and some friends and relatives, loved that the band put out beats they could jump and head-bang to. Even if you had not heard the music before, you could still find yourself moving to the beat.
The garage punk trio could best be described as nouveau punk with Los Angeles surf rock undertones. They opened up with their number one hit “Sick Shit” off of their 2014 release Badillac. “Sick Shit” was the perfect indication of how the show would progress in the next hour, with the band recounting a funny anecdote after every song to keep the fans engaged and make the show less ominous.
After easing into their set, they played “Badillac”, the title track off of their album, a song that started off melodic but turned screamo as the chorus approached. The song opened with a stylized guitar, resembling the guitar used by The Fratellis. As the song progressed, the guitar sped up and the band filled in the blanks with self-deprecating lyrics, “I hate myself, I hate the Earth.”
Squeezed into the middle of their set was my favorite track off of their new album, “Offer.” As one of the more main-stream songs on the album with a wider appeal, it was able to lure the crowd back into engaging with their set.
Finally, the show ended with “River,” which channelled the NYC ‘80s punk scene and was reminiscent of some of The Ramones’ biggest hits such as “I Wanna Be Sedated”. The number was a great way to cinch the show, leaving the catchy chorus to in your head.
Overall, the band should be recognized for their profane lyrics that are also manage to be raw, honest, funny and straight to the point, a quality most band find hard to capture. While the album may not be one for easy listening or one that would appeal to most people, it is definitely worth it to buy a ticket to see them live. The band puts on a show with the perfect balance of angst and light-hearted humor. It seemed liked everyone left the show genuinely amped up about the underground band they had been following.
It is worth noting that Together PANGEA also recruited great opening acts for their show. The first two bands to play the night were local D.C. punk bands The Sniffs and The Rememberables. However, it was really the British Invasion-esque band from the Netherlands, Mozes and the Firstborn, that pumped up the crowd with their fun, fresh, but dark indie rock.
As a relatively unknown, undiscovered band, it will be interesting to see the trajectory of their music and their success. Before they hit it big, it would be wise to catch Mozes and the Firstborn and Together PANGEA live.
–Liz Goodwin and Grace Farnan