Together Pangea lead Cali-punk invasion at Soundbar

click to enlarge Together Pangea at Soundbar - Jen Cray
Jen Cray
Together Pangea at Soundbar
THIS LITTLE UNDERGROUND
Together Pangea, Tijuana Panthers and Ultra Q, Soundbar, July 24

Three bands deep, this concert was a now-gen California punk invasion. Topping the marquee was L.A.’s Together Pangea. Always one of the more melody-minded of the modern garage-punk pack, they’ve never really let too much override their tight, bright hooks. In recent years, they’ve even proven open to some cleaner, gentler sounds.
click to enlarge Together Pangea at Soundbar - Jen Cray
Jen Cray
Together Pangea at Soundbar
click to enlarge Together Pangea at Soundbar - Jen Cray
Jen Cray
Together Pangea at Soundbar
But laudable though they are, these newer explorations aren’t what’s moving the kids. That’s probably why, in concert, their original spirit still leads with a storming heat that’s par with top peers like FIDLAR.

click to enlarge Together Pangea at Soundbar - Jen Cray
Jen Cray
Together Pangea at Soundbar
click to enlarge Together Pangea at Soundbar - Jen Cray
Jen Cray
Together Pangea at Soundbar
They eventually showed some of those newer feathers. When Together Pangea push that mix of melody and roar, though, they’re nearly indomitable at the head of the current wave of California punk.
click to enlarge Together Pangea at Soundbar - Jen Cray
Jen Cray
Together Pangea at Soundbar
Long Beach’s Tijuana Panthers ride an even sunnier wave with an easy, bobbing rock sound awash in surf patina. Live, however, their glow comes with more garage juice. It’s a vivid look that gives their step some flattering beef and bite.
click to enlarge Tijuana Panthers at Soundbar - Jen Cray
Jen Cray
Tijuana Panthers at Soundbar
click to enlarge Tijuana Panthers at Soundbar - Jen Cray
Jen Cray
Tijuana Panthers at Soundbar
Opening the night was sorta new Oakland band Ultra Q. I say sorta because they were, up until very recently, already known as Mt. Eddy. Although perhaps the most obscure name on the lineup, the group features the most famous pedigree in bandleader Jakob Danger, who’s the second consecutive musical offspring of Billie Joe Armstrong (his older brother, Joey Armstrong, drums for SWMRS, a band that got all Twitter-sore with me for a 2016 concert review).
click to enlarge Ultra Q at Soundbar - Jen Cray
Jen Cray
Ultra Q at Soundbar
As the name change signals, the young group are growing up and, with their sound, outward. Depending on how you frame their career, they’re either still fluid or just beginning. But whichever way they go, they’ve already got a big head start for a formative act.
click to enlarge Ultra Q at Soundbar - Jen Cray
Jen Cray
Ultra Q at Soundbar
click to enlarge Ultra Q at Soundbar - Jen Cray
Jen Cray
Ultra Q at Soundbar
With a strapping lineup of three guitars and a pounding drum attack – no bass – these kids rock with tightness and kick. Add on Jakob’s vocals, which have more than a passing resemblance to his Green Day dad, and you’ve got a sturdy, well-equipped band armed with possibility.
click to enlarge Ultra Q at Soundbar - Jen Cray
Jen Cray
Ultra Q at Soundbar
click to enlarge Ultra Q at Soundbar - Jen Cray
Jen Cray
Ultra Q at Soundbar
Follow Bao on Twitter (@baolehuu)
Email Bao: [email protected]

About The Author

Bao Le-Huu

Music columnist.
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