Vancouver rock duo, The Pack AD, is comprised of singer/guitarist Becky Black and drummer Maya Miller, two ladies who know how to rock hard. Their new album, Do Not Engage just hit the streets yesterday via Nettwerk Records. Hmm … that’s a curious title, considering that it’s nearly impossible not to engage in these eleven, stirring, alt-indie-grunge rock songs — whether it be headbanging, dancing, shouting along in your bedroom, car, or with the band live (we last caught them tearing shit up at Culture Collide). The band recorded the album in Vancouver and Detroit, teaming up again with producer Jim Diamond (White Stripes, Electric Six) who had produced their previous record Unpersons.
Flashbacks to the days of Sleater Kinney, Hole, Veruca Salt, Nirvana or The Pixies may occur when listening to this album, but The Pack A.D. are no copycats. The band has been touring, working relentlessly and a natural evolution from their raw, earlier days seemed inevitable. “We’ve been getting more straight-up rock, I think, and I guess a little weirder,” says Miller. Black adds, “I guess some bands never change but, I don’t know, I think most bands do. You’ve gotta keep trying new things or it’s just boring.” Well, The Pack A.D. are rocking harder, getting weirder and in the process seem to have truly come into their own. One thing’s for certain, this is one badass record.
Why We Dig Them: Some of the lyrical content can have a serious tone to it but the band doesn’t seem to take themselves too seriously. It particularly shows in videos, such as the one below for their new track “Big Shot” where a Yeti and a Gorilla get down with some sweet dance moves in the desert. Also, in talking about the recording process the band expresses that their plan of action, was to “just get better” which is a humbling and relatable attitude in an industry fraught with fame and attention-seekers, hiding behind the guise of musicianship and rock n’ roll. These ladies aren’t divas they are rock goddesses, who truly want YOU to rock with them.
Best Songs: “Big Shot” boasts heavy guitar riffs and taunting lyrics (“I think I said the end is coming, you said that’s great, I’ll be King, well you’re a jerk, quite a piece of work, I think it’s fun, that you’re so dumb”) against a catchy, propulsive beat. Crossing freely between the realms of grunge and indie-rock this track will have you headbanging one second and shaking your limbs the next. The sultry, yet unabashed vocals that strike with precise tension and release on “Animal” easily seduce and lure me into a dark, rock ‘n’ roll world — this song is a beast and there’s no escaping its grasp. Psychedelic undertones lace the slow, yet aggressive track “Loser” which somehow finds a sense of beauty even in the face of self-deprecation.
Three Words To Describe The Pack AD: Ferocious — Resolute — Fun
Interesting Tidbit: In their video feature on Last Call with Carson Daly, the band mentions that they used to be in a different band previous to The Pack A.D. but they kept sneaking off to work on their own material and once that other band ended they just kept doing what they were doing. Some bands must die so that others may flourish and in this case, I’m thankful for that.
February 5 at the Brick & Mortar Music Hall (San Francisco, CA)
February 7 at The Satellite (Los Angeles, CA) Grimy Goods is Presenting – Click here for tickets.
February 8 at The Loft at UCSD (San Diego, CA)
Words: Emily Saex