Live and on record, the Tijuana Panthers are a great band. You could say garage, punk or surf while describing their sound, but they’re harder to pin than that. The truth is that they write classic songs that don’t depend on tropes from any genre. They craft perfect pop and deliver it with energy and immediacy. However, the real magic of this band is in their weirdness.
Behind their picturesque portraits of daily life is an aching despair. This subtle contrast creates an eerie tension between the ideal, the real and the surreal. You suddenly realize they’re not the happy-go-lucky beach boys you tried to pin them as, but more akin to sexually frustrated soda jerks in a David Lynch film. And this all makes sense with the fact that they come from Southern California’s shadier city of Long Beach, not exactly the fun in the sun that California dreamers might expect.