The melancholy punk-rock trio Pandamic arrives in force with their latest EP, “How To Be Happy”, which includes the singles “Bus” and “Sweater”.
With relentless headbangs, soaring choruses, raspy riffs, rumbling basslines and relentless drum beats, Pandamic delivers upbeat punk rock that your older brother would approve with a crossed nod.
Lead singer Rhys reflects on the songs that made the final cut of ‘How To Be Happy’. âWhen I feel down, I tend to write pretty sad songs, but when I create something, it makes me happy.
“So, as sad as a song may sound, I feel like it can make anyone who can relate to it happy.
“The feeling of not being alone. The assurance that someone else has felt the way you feel.. Knowing that someone else has gotten out of it, then so can you.
“That being said, we thought ‘How To Be Happy’ would be a perfect name for the album.”
Here, the group lists their favorite stops along the Bruce Highway for a crab sanga and an unhealthy dose of Australiana.
1: The Caves general store @ Les Caves
This one is close to where we were playing when Pandamic first started and it was always a staple of any tour that went through this region.
Probably the only gas station in Australia that still sells porn magazines. When you walk through the plastic curtains hanging from the front door, it feels like stepping into some house-style panties in 1969.
There’s Vegemite, Salt and Pepper, and an anti-NSW printed photo on the wall that looks a bit like one of those co-worker copy-paste emails your dad would send to his Hotmail account to his co-worker. at the time.
Plus, this store has the BEST crab sangas I have ever had in my life! They aren’t here to f … spiders when it comes to crab sandwiches; there must be at least one whole crab between two nice thick slices of buttered white bread.
With a lovely old pub next door and a church just across the road, this must be the only place on the Bruce Highway where you can eat, fish and pray in the span of half an hour. Rare as a rocking horse if you ask me.
2: Crab servo @ Miriam Vale
He’s a number 1 contender – a humble servo in a rural backcountry town. True blue, Australiana deadset! You can get roo pie, crocodile pie, crab sanga, or pie; basically any Australian resident animal is in a pie or sandwich at this servo.
There are a few record-sized taxidermized crabs hanging on the walls as well. Don’t touch any of them, as the staff will yell at you.
And no matter how much you promise yourself not to, you’ll ALWAYS spend the last 7 dollars for a crab sanga at that servo on the way back to Rocky. There is nothing you can do about it. Life is funny.
Unfortunately, nowadays the contents of all crab sangas are just simple sand crabs. Gone are the days of mud crab sandwiches at Miriam Vale Big Crab Servo.
3: Marmor BP
Before moving the band to Brisbane / Sunshine Coast we did a bunch of road trips along the coast to play gigs and on the way back this was always the last stop before Rocky.
This servo even survived Cyclone Marcia! Deadset, it was reduced to a heap of rubble, but they had a sign on the front saying “We’re still here Marcia, bitch” – an iconic piece of Australian history really.
4: Gin Gin
The city so beautiful, they named it twice!
5: Rockhampton Mobil Servo on the south side
We all spent a good part of our lives at this servo when we were teenagers! It was the first place I bought a bag of weed.
A nightlife staple for all walks of life in Rockhampton, this place has seen more shit than a toilet seat. There’s nothing like losing weight fried under fluorescent lighting to top off a night of debauchery.
This place is GUARANTEED to have what you need: a museum of forgotten functionality; burn DVDs of movies you’ve never heard of; a ‘So Fresh’ CD from 20 years ago; or a new set of speed dealer sunglasses!
You’ll find these timeless treasures all over the joint like hunting dogs, and you’ll be more nervous than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs if you find yourself here after dark. You’re even more likely to end up with a black eye than a meat pie!
A dream concert would have been to play in the dining room. Unfortunately all good things come to an end and this essential and monumental institution has now become a Puma.
Pandamic launches ‘How To Be Happy’ EP at King Lear’s Throne (Brisbane) on December 10th. The group is supporting The Terrys at Triffid (Brisbane) on January 28, Miami Marketta (Gold Coast) on March 10 and at Solbar (Sunshine Coast) on March 12.