Tijuana Panthers Release New Album Halfway to Eighty
California rock trio, Tijuana Panthers releases their new album Halfway to Eighty. In one form or another, Tijuana Panthers have existed most of its members’ lives. Daniel Michicoff (bass/vocals), Chad Wachtel (guitar/vocals), and Phil Shaheen (drums/vocals) became friends when they were teenagers in Long Beach, California, and started playing music together soon after, eventually becoming one of the shining stars of the twenty-first century garage-rock revival scene—a (relatively) chill surf-rock-inspired complement to the ruckus of acts like Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees. But while many of their initial contemporaries have gone through lineup changes or thrown in the towel, the Panthers are hanging tough—and, in a sense, just hitting their stride.
“I feel like this was our most relaxed process yet,” says Michicoff of the band’s sixth LP, Halfway to Eighty, an album whose title serves as a sly embrace of getting older, with a little bit of the Panthers’ trademark sense of humor sprinkled in there for good measure. (On the cover, they gather around their imaginary midlife-crisis Delorean.) It’s a brotherhood that’s only gotten more instinctual over time, and lately that second-nature approach has found each member taking on a more forward role in crafting their own individual songs, which the trio then works out together before hitting the studio.
The LP combines the fast-paced, punchier garage rock tones in tracks such as ‘Slacker’ with the more subtle rock sounds in ‘Quantum Entenmann's’. But taken at full, Halfway to Eighty is an embrace of much more than just a band. It’s a statement of dedication to the calling of music—to sticking with making art as long as you want to, age be damned. “You know what would make me just go, ‘Oh, let’s just quit,’” says Wachtel, recalling a recent raucous show in Los Angeles, “is if we didn’t have that reception anymore. The fans keep me going.”
“Not to get all spiritual about it,” adds Michicoff, “but when we were younger, we played really hard for nobody, and now the fans do all the work for us. They have the fun and we just kind of rock out, and it’s nice. It’s cool to sit back and play the songs and watch. They’re putting on a show for us.”
Stream the album HERE