James Nevin and Oliver Thomas are two young lads (relatively) fresh out of high school, though they’ve been pedalling their few-fucks-given brand of garage rock as Death Panthers since well before they doffed their square hats at any high school farewell ceremony. They’ve been playing together since they were 16 and started getting drunk and ripping up various stages across the Cape Town city bowl not longer after. Today, they’ve shared their latest EP, Losers Drink Beer (Kill City Sessions).
Their precocious attitude defines the spirit of this EP, as does their fatuous, irreverent sense of humour. The thematic breadth of this album stretches from the wonders of pizza right across to skateboarding at the other end of the spectrum. What makes these tracks work, though, is the unpretentious way Nevin and Thomas treat everything they come across. Whether it’s a an ode to the land down south of America’s border or a song about a psychedelic drug trip, they employ the same high-octane, face-level approach. That rawness was maintained intentionally by producers George van der Spuy of Taxi Violence and Nicolaai Rooi, by recording the whole thing live at Kill City Blues.
That said, there is a much more polished feel to this EP than their previous offering, The Pizza EP – released just a month ago on Surfing Loser Space Cult, and while some immediacy has been sacrificed here, the modicum of extra consideration given to these cuts ultimately leads to a greater sense of cohesion and control. These songs don’t shimmer and gleam, and they aren’t meant to, but the additional guitar tracking found on ‘Mexico’ and the effects added to ‘Pizza’ and ‘Boogin’’ rounds the body of the EP out really well.