The Echo Presents
GRMLN, The Abigails
1822 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, California, 90026
This event is 18 and over
"The Tijuana Panthers got their name from the little black ceramic panther that was a present from their neighbor Max Baker—yes, the Max Baker who they named their first album after, and who deserves a bio all his own—and they got their sound from that strange place where punk bands crash into pop music and come out the other side, bristling with hooks and hitting three-part harmonies almost by happy accident.
Even the Beach Boys were once a garage band, and after them came the waves of kids playing rock 'n' roll somewhere between the surf and the surface streets. Then when punk showed up in the '70s, it was just an adjustment in hairstyle and speed. The Buzzcocks did this a whole hemisphere away, the Real Kids and the Modern Lovers did it on the other side of the country, and the Crowd and the Simpletones did it just a few towns over. And now Tijuana Panthers come striding proudly out of their hometown of Long Beach, California.
Come celebrate the release of GRMLN's debut 12" on Carpark Records with their debut at PTP. These are the sort of dreamy hazy sounds that would be equally at home on Captured Tracks, slotting neatly aside Beach Fossils, Diiv and Catwalk. Hushed vocals interwoven tendrils of wistful guitars alternating with anthemic leads. Just exactly as Dean Wareham prophesied long ago on the final Galaxie 500 album: This is OUR music.
There are hobbies, and then there are lifestyles. The former tends to come with the non-committal ambiguity of something to merely pass the time, to fool the world that something is giving you an identity - while the latter takes the urgency of emergency, of pre-destined presence that is already encoded in one’s own DNA.
For Warren Thomas - undisputed harbinger of debauched Zen and man behind Southern California’s elegantly-wasted country act The Abigails - it would be an emergency if it didn’t come so damn easy; as there are certain people that just can’t be anything else besides legends in real-time. “It just kinda comes naturally to me,” he told L.A. Record. “You know what they say: ‘Country music is just the white man’s blues,’ and Satan’s always lurkin’ in the shadows and I’ve been around the block a few times now. So I’d say it all kinda makes sense.”
After cutting his jagged-teeth for ten years leading the Doors-esque GRAND ELEGANCE and a brief stint on percussion with kindred spirits THE GROWLERS, Warren picked up a guitar in summer of 2011 and learned all five-chords for the first time – and wasted no time to record a full album perfectly crafted, mean-spirited yet somehow vulnerable classics that surprised everyone except his inner circle who knew this day was inevitable. “Songs Of Love And Despair” was co-released by Burger and Mono Records in 2012 and sold out quickly – proving that the Abigails brand of LEE HAZLEWOOD/GUN CLUB/COUNTRY TEASERS-inspired cruelty was filling a void that was screaming to be sewed up.
By the time the tireless gigging in support of the debut was in full swing, Warren already had his next round of tarnished golden-bullets in the chamber. “Tundra” is almost savant in its creaky perfection – an album slightly heavier on the ballad side that makes it easier to soak up all the bottlenecking wisdom throughout. Never has impending doom felt so comforting – Warren was gifted the distinction of effortless, story-telling baritone (once thought only reserved for icons like LEONARD COHEN and NICK CAVE) that oozes out speakers and consumes a room as he spins tales of his misadventures with minor glimmers of accidental redemption on songs like “29” and “The Calm Before The Storm”, while “The One That Let Me Go” ventures into ROGER MILLER territory where its hinge on zaniness swings in defiance. The Abigails take on Leon Payne’s “It’s Nothing To Me” and make it their own as it begins with a chilling, non-fiction answering machine message from Warren calling his engineer from a jail in Boise before crashing into a haunting twang-tangled fuck-all, confirming all of Warren’s confident threats that this may be his masterpiece. Until the next one…