Los Angeles' together PANGEA comes amid a stellar wave of young, commanding garage-punk bands, and the William Keegan-led trio straddles the line between ferocity and bubblegum as well as any.
Badillac establishes a breakneck pace at the outset, with Keegan screaming over fuzzed-out guitar on "Alive" and "Make Myself True," which drops a wailing solo between heavy riffs. "Does He Really Care" finds its connection with primitive, bare-bones rock, the sort of teen-angst anthem that's as timeless as it is urgent.
The band's pop instincts shine brightest on the title track, which incorporates acoustic guitars into driving rock music similar to the style Bob Mould perfected with Sugar, and "River," where Keegan transforms a punk sneer into ear candy as well as anyone since Girls' Christopher Owens.
The band returns to unapologetic punk—raw, foul and amped-up—on "Sick Shit" before winding the album down with the paranoia-laced acoustic ballad "No Way Out" and the slow-building "Where the Night Ends," with a closing guitar solo that careens off the rails.
In an exciting yet crowded field—comparisons easily include Ty Segall, FIDLAR and King Tuff—together PANGEA stand out with Badillac, a record that fulfills its surprisingly expansive ambition with creative nuance as well as unrestrained energy.