together PANGEA - Bulls and Roosters

by Nathan Fidler Rating:8 Release Date:2017-08-25

Listening to the lead single from Bulls and Roosters by together PANGEA, you get an intense burst of excitement hearing a band drill through one minute and 43 seconds of punky surfer-rock. The album, however, holds many more surprise from this West Coast group.

You’re not alone if you’ve not heard of this band before, their previous albums are slightly more juvenile surf-rock efforts; you can probably lump them in with the likes of FIDLAR. The difference here is an improved clarity in the production, along with more thought-out approach the songs.

Much of the album seems to focus on the breakdown of a relationship and the ownership of not being able to keep it together personally. Sounding more like a 70s melodic rock effort, but keeping the stretched surfer-slacker vibe, ‘Money On It’ has a summery, Whitney vibe - that is, of course, until the line, “When we talk it’s always screaming.”

‘Kenmore Ave’ focuses more on the nightmare of living together. “She’s gone and packed, she’s gonna go” is a depressingly lucid realisation coming all too late. The fact that the songs are accompanied by thumping, skittering drums and wavering guitars, makes this an unusual break-up album.

The shorter and sharper the songs, the better things are on this album. ‘Gold Moon’ continues the emotion of being down-and-out in life, but disguises it with heady description of night-driving. Going over four minutes, ‘Is It Real?’ has a repetitively catchy chorus, but loses focus across such a long running time.

‘Bulls and Roosters’ will have you thinking Grohl and Cobain are gearing up once more, mimicking ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ a little too closely, while ‘Stare At The Sun’ evokes the sound of The Smiths. Neither sound fully suits them, but doesn’t feel so completely out of place enough to lose the momentum of the album.

While they’re not ditching the drugs or the rapid guitars, this is certainly a more well-rounded, thought out effort. Full of catchy melodies, strained vocals and an appropriate layer of surf-rock energy, this is a solid album.

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