Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Album Review: The Pack A.D.- Do Not Engage

The Pack A.D.
Do Not Engage
** out of *****
The Vancouver based two piece noise-rockers The Pack A.D. have released their newest album and are paired with Detroit producer Jim Diamond for the first time, so the scuzz factor is amped up on Do Not Engage. Stripped down rock and roll is what guitarist/singer Becky Black and drummer Maya Miller offer.

"Airborne" opens things and lays a positive framework as the group layers fuzz pedals, bury the lyrics, and proceed in a less grandiose My Bloody Valentine style. Tracks like "Big Shot" and "Loser" take punky lyrics and color them with pop flourishes. The self explanatory titled "Stalking Is Normal" puts an interesting female spin on things while "The Water" picks up the tempo and motors in a more traditional rock and roll way.  

"Animal" is the best offering here showcasing police siren guitar effects with a tambourine and a garage sound that crackles alive. "Rocket" displays the bands pop-rock chops and the underwater vibe/slapping drum of "The Flight" is effective as well but too often the songs on Do Not Engage run out of steam.

Tracks like "Creepin' Jenny" with distorted, constantly pounding cymbals and the bludgeoning "Battering Ram" are symptomatic; decent ideas that in their final presentation are too dull for their own good. Tempos stay stagnate and running over or close to 4 minutes sapping the vitality.

Like a lot of the other bands Diamond has worked with (The White Stripes, Dirtbombs) raw rock and roll is the prescription, except in The Pack A.D.'s case, they overdue it with the cure. These songs are simple, awash in feedback and distortion, but have a poppy center, however almost all run on at least a chorus and a verse too long. The ideas go around and around for extra spins without adding anything to the overall product; edting them down, a tighter reign overall and punchy production would better serve Do Not Engage

Support the band here, buy the album here and peep some video below:

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