Together Pangea’s Living Dummy (2011) is a classic garage rock album. Though they’ve had many fine singles since then, for my tastes, nothing is quite as dense with ideas or as relentlessly resourceful with its inspiration.
Maybe there is something wrong with my brain that this album remains more or less evergreen in its spinning. The variance and hooks, its balance of bile and sentiment, add up to such a lovely document. Think of how much better off we’d all be if this was what passed for a more mainstream branch of pop-punk. It has inspired many, but you know what I mean: household/pop culture level of mind-meme infestation.
It sits with Dead Ghosts, The Cowboys, and The Babies, in my memory of the era which is only (somehow, I don’t know) fairly recently being pulled apart from the present. One of my sister’s earlier memories is my mother pulling off to the side of the road to weep after The Eagles were played on the classic rock radio station. Luckily, I don’t own a car. So there will be no further self reflection on mortality and impending death.
On Living Dummy there is great value in the band’s pushing and perverting of garage rock with idiosyncrasy and heart, infusing life into the curdled maxims and anachronisms of person-with-guitar rock. As F. Scott F. put it, “It takes a genius to whine appealingly.” And that is essentially what is happening here.
Pangea are currently on tour with two California dates remaining at the Observatory and the Regent theater, then they’re off to Europe for a few months. The record is $7 digitally on bandcamp. Or you can stream it elsewhere, I assume, for $0.0014 per play, as rendered accessible by your favored cartel of thugs’ server farm.