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Do Not Engage

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Album Review

Over the course of their first three albums, Vancouver power duo the Pack A.D. put increasingly less emphasis on their blues influences and more on their rock & roll swagger, and now that they're up to album number five, they've evolved into a stripped-down but muscular rock & roll machine, but they've also added just a dash of pop hookiness to their formula. Make no mistake, 2014's Do Not Engage is full-on rock & roll and clearly proud of it — Becky Black lays out big clouds of fuzzy six-string goodness and can conjure guitar and bass sounds at once with the élan of Scott Lucas himself, while drummer Maya Miller attacks her kit with the gleeful ferocity and relentless accuracy of a true master. But cue up "Big Shot" and you'll hear a tune you can actually dance to, while "The Water" evokes the clean, echoing surfaces of early Suicide (who were always a lot catchier than anyone wanted to admit), and the stutter-step of "The Flight" sounds plenty sophisticated for a band most often celebrated for its minimalism. As a vocalist, Black is still in her element when she's running her larynx like she pummels her guitar, but on "Needles" and "Loser," she demonstrates how much nuance she can put into more dynamic numbers, and "Stalking Is Normal" shows the Pack A.D. haven't lost their Blues Power when they feel it suits their purposes (not to mention their knack for writing smart, artful, and pointed lyrics). Jim Diamond's production allows Black and Miller to sound as mighty as they want to be without smothering the artful touches the Pack A.D. have added to their arsenal; it's not common for a band to rock this hard and sound this smart at the same time, and the fact they've managed this accomplishment with a mere two people confirms Do Not Engage is both a solid dose of rock action and a model of modern efficiency.

Customer Reviews

pretty good

Their voices are excellent. The material is fair. I look forward to hearing more from them.

Excellent

I've only recently stumbled upon The Pack.... But I've become a huge fan in the short time. These guys are amazing. The music is upbeat and at times they can slow it down and get to the core of you with the melodic voice of the lead singer matched with instruments. Definitely a great buy!

Best album yet.

Outstanding rock and roll by any measure.

Biography

Formed: 2006 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Cana

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Following in the tradition of the Black Keys and the White Stripes, the Pack A.D. play a blend of rock and electric blues. The female duo is comprised of drummer Maya Miller and vocalist/guitarist Becky Black, both of whom left their previous Pixies-styled band to focus on bluesier music. After emerging in 2006 as one of Vancouver's more buzzworthy bands, the Pack A.D. signed with Mint Records in 2007 and released a debut album, Tintype, the following January. Funeral Mixtape, the duo's second offering,...
Full Bio
Do Not Engage, The Pack A.D.
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