Listen to Creature
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, with Semi-Sweet, their most fully realized album yet.
The first single form Semi Sweet, “Tony’s Song” matches the relentless energy of the Wipers with instantly catchy beach-punk harmonies while the B-side to the single is a pitch-perfect Nerves cover, a reverent redo of “One Way Ticket” by a band that in sound and sentiment both were pretty much the Tijuana Panthers of their day.
"Cribbing as much from Brian Wilson’s lyrical topics as they take from Dick Dale’s reverb-soaked guitar tone"-Noisey/VICE
"[The music of the Tijuana Panthers] sounds something like they had spent an afternoon with Jan and Dean sharing fish tacos with Quentin Tarantino, before laying down some 4-track recordings with The Cramps in a sunlit garage." LA Weekly