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together PANGEA’s Bubble Grunge POPS

by Mia Pearson October 21, 2014
together PANGEA’s Bubble Grunge POPS

The trio makes music to match their nights of hitting-up every party on the block

Danny Bengston smokes a fat spliff next to his bandmates, William Keegan and Erik Jimenez, who are making-out passionately under a gushing showerhead. In other words: together PANGEA is closer together than ever.

That’s one shot from their new official video for the song “Offer,” which follows the band and their equally wild-streaked friends around drummer Jimenez’s 25th birthday party.

“That was just a pretty typical party. We had our friends coaching us—having us do things that we might not necessarily do, but we might also do…” Bengston laughs.

These SoCal, so cool, pop-punks operate on a level of debauchery your wildest night can’t compare to. Between their infamous all-ages shows at DIY L.A. venues where kids barely remain right-side-up, together PANGEA live a lifestyle of hooliganry within the grimy and glamourous neo-Southern California music scene.

Photo by Alice Baxley.

“Especially in the last year, so many of our friends who were in the bay area moved down to L.A. for various reasons,” Bengston said. “L.A.’s a huge city, but everyone who plays music—at least all of our friends—are within a 10 mile radius. There are just so many people in so many bands. We’ll go to a party and mostly just be hanging-out with bands we’d be touring with anyway. Everyone’s really supportive; it’s really fun.”

Under L.A.’s blazing sun and oscillating waves of heat, a thriving web of innovative bands is squeezing out some of today’s best music. together PANGEA has followed suit — they’ve torn-up the scene enough to have a name given to their style of music; just like The Black Lips’ “Flower Punk” and The Growlers’ “Beach Goth.” (Two bands, moreover, with whom together PANGEA are friends).

So the band plays Bubble Grunge, “mixed with a smooth Skronk,” Bengston adds, and their Bubble Grunge music is something of a musical marvel. It’s as if the trio managed to bottle the energy buzzing from their party scene, while on a song like “The River,” also hitting listeners with a heated nostalgia in their chords.

Living Dummy, their second album, has been the anthem of so many sweaty kids in the together PANGEA crowd who’ve yelled the lyrics back to the band night after rowdy night. A trend even emerged among fans to get a heart with the name of their song, “Too Drunk To Cum,” tattooed on their bum.

“Actually, The Orwells just took a photo of a kid with a ‘Too Drunk To Cum’ tattoo the other day,” Bengston said. “I think we’re a little more concerned about what his girlfriend might think, but she was like super stoked about it. There’s a few kids with the heart and the “Too Drunk to Cum” [written] in it. It’s all started by kids. It’s cool—I have a lot of tattoos that people might think are shitty, so I’m all for it.”

Jumping from Living Dummy’s lo-fi songs about wild nights, impotency, and love lost, the sultry songs that come crashing out of their third album, Badillac, are more polished, and maybe more tamed.

“When we did Living Dummy, [Keegan] and I were both in long-term relationships, and we had been playing house parties rather than actual venues,” Bengston said. “When Badillac happened, William and his girl at the time broke up; my girlfriend and I broke up. Badillac’s overall a much darker, heavier record. I think that sort of reflects what we were going through when we were writing it.”

The trio saddled down among the drained beer cans in Bengston’s L.A. home to pour their souls into the new songs: some written from behind the angry eyes of a heartbroken lover boy. Others about the musicians’ lives: partying like full-time punks and diving into drunk and drugged days and nights. Badillac is a coming together of confusion and clarity, and of

raunchiness and sweetness, all sung in Keegan’s high-pitched screeches blazing throughout the record.

“It’s fun to play pop-y pop songs, but we try to move and always make a different record… experiment with new sounds and ways of making songs,” Bengston said.

Badillac’ is a made-up word by the band that doesn’t really mean anything, but “later [Keegan] found out if you google Badillac, it’s really souped-up Cadillacs or low-rider Cadillacs,” Bengston said. When asked if together PANGEA feels they relate to pimped-out Cadillacs in any capacity, Bengston replied: “I don’t know if we relate to cool Cadillacs… maybe like cool Ford Pintos!”

In a less decked-out van, the band is bumping around North America, Bengston staying sane on tour by “playing FIFA and eating sunflower seeds.”

The supercontinent doesn’t exist anymore, but luckily, together PANGEA’s a super band, and if you don’t check them out: get. bent.

together PANGEA plays La Sala Rossa Oct. 28 on the Burger Records Caravan of the Stars tour.

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