Monday, February 15, 2010
#16 Garage Rock demolition duo 'The Pack A.D.'
The Pack After Death, commonly known as the Pack A.D are an explosive band out of Vancouver BC's lower east side. The duo consists of Becky Black (guitar, singer,songwriter) and Maya Miller (drummer, songwriter). These two extremely talented musicians formed the group in 2006 and since then they have been rocking the hell outta the B.C. music scene and are starting to get worldwide attention. It's clear that these two are not going to remain unknown for very long and in my opinion, their work is some of the best stuff I have heard in a long time. They have that pure raw essence of what true garage rock is all about. Becky Black has a voice that rock has been missing for a long time. She sounds part Janis Joplin and part Jack White, with a little Patti Smith thrown in for good measure. You can feel the spirit of punk flowing through her as she howls and moans out the lyrics with such passion that you can tell she could really care less if you were even listening. Maya Miller thrashes the drums with an garage rock intensity we haven't really seen since Dave Grohl in his Nirvana days.
I sort of dug this music right off the bat, but the more I listen to it the more I love it. When I first heard one of their tracks on 'Grooveshark Radio' I thought it was the group 'Black Mountain, also of Vancouver, as both bands share a somewhat Garage/Blues-Rock feel to their music. Black Mountain however, tends to lean more towards Psychedelic Blues-Rock, while The Pack A.D tend to go for a more classic Garage Rock feel with a definite love of Blues and Punk. I really can't say enough about the soulful vocals of Becky Black. Her talent is downright scary for someone so young. It's as if you had a mix of Janis Joplin and Grace Slick and you used that hybrid to replace Jack White in the White Stripes. Her voice can sound as ancient as if she had sung straight blues for the last sixty years while at the drop of a hat she can totally switch it up to feisty garage punk rock with high energy and passion pouring out the microphone like a sonic landslide. This mixture gives their music so much depth that one can't help but become a fan. Very few bands that are out right now can do both harder edge rock and passionate blues at the same time and the fact that The Pack A.D. do it so flawlessly is as scary as it is awesome.
The self released debut CD 'Tintype' (2007), had Vancouverites with their ears to the speakers, begging for more. The record blasts out of the starting gate with the Heavy Blues Rock track 'Gold Rush'. The wild fury of Becky's guitar instantly hooks you and then she opens her mouth and lets loose with vocals powerful enough to really steal your soul. Tintype is a great mix of classic sounding blues like 'Cabin', but even on the most basic songs there is something more there. One listen to killer tracks like All Damn Day Long are enough to sell you on this amazing duo. The follow-up album, 'Funeral Mixtape' (2008), got the group reviews in almost every major music magazine (Uncut gave the album 4 stars). My fave quote was from a music critic down in Texas who said this of the duo "It’s like meeting a cute girl for the first time in junior high mixed with being run over by rusty ‘72 Ford pickup". You can't really disagree with him when you hear an album with such intense blues, punk, grind, thrash and a deep, soulful swagger that pretty much turns your admiration into a deep rooted lust with one listen. The first track 'Blackout', is a powerful bluesy rocker that hits you like a whiskey soaked brick to the face. The sweet guitar intro on 'I don't Have To Like You' sounds very reminiscent of Clapton on 'Ride the River' (off his collaborative album with JJ Cale 'Road to Escondido') is also a fave of mine off the album. I highly recommend this group to anyone who likes blues-rock or anyone who is a fan of bands like The White Stripes, Black Mountain or The Black Keys. Their new album 'We Kill Computers' is released on April 27th, 2010. Until then, stay tuned for more info on this fantastic local duo.
-Becky and Maya met in 2005 at the gas station where Becky was working in East Van, and they hit it off and decided to get some music happening.
- CBC radio announces that apparently they are big fans of soup....
-Sorry not a whole of facts so far they are a very cryptic band and still pretty new! Stay tuned tho!
My Fave Album:
-At this point I would have to go with 'Funeral Mix-Tape'. It is just so damn good I kind of want to listen to it again and again. I just bought it on vinyl so I am stoked to hear them in that format and not just on the computer. Stand out tracks are definitely 'Making Gestures' (the single), Blackout, Dannemora Blues and 'Wolves and Werewolves'. That being said, the entire album is very addictive and easy to listen to from start to finish.
Here is a clip of their video for the Making Gestures song. Dang I really like this track. Her vocals are so good its freaky!