Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Reviews:: The Pack A.D. Tintype

It's almost impossible to not use bad metaphors when you start talking about The Pack A.D., even when you don't want to. Why? Well, these two girls are bad ass. The Pack A.D. - pushed along by Maya Miller's drums and Becky Black's guitar and vocals - invoke all those feelings people get when any woman really cranks up the noise and rocks. I kind of feel like that is selling this duo short. Make no mistake, this record isn't awesome because two women are playing swampy blues. No, it's awesome because The Pack A.D. crushes it and they just happen to be women.

The Pack A.D. writes heavy swamp blues and not for one second do you think they aren't for real. With so many bands jumping on the success of the White Stripes, stumbling on an act that gets the whole blues thing right deserves your attention. From the opening song, the emotion that drips (or more accurately bleeds) from Becky's voice is unreal. Her voice teeters on the brink of insanity on almost every track. When you add the guitar and crashing drums every song seems like she's at the crossroads bartering with her last breath.

The record is a great mix of standard blues sounds - like Cabin - and frantic chaos, but even on the most basic songs there is something more there. One listen to killer tracks like All Damn Day Long or Snow are enough to get you hooked, but it's songs like Bang where the emotion spirals out of control and the intensity slaps you in the mouth. You feel her torment when she admits, "I can't love you… I can't hate you."

Over the course of 17 songs, the duo peaks your energy in whiskey soaked romps, but takes their foot off the gas at just the right time - like the come down groove of Pilot's Blues and the tender tracks with surprisingly intimate piano lines. They are the type of band that can burn a club down to the ground. You can feel the gospel sway of the crowd on Walk On and that intimacy is just as intense as the power and energy on tracks like Bone Handle (that probably take on a new life when the band is raging on coffee and adrenaline).

The Pack A.D. is heading on a huge summer tour, starting here March 1st @ the Railway Club and ending with a spot at the Deep Blues Festival. They are going to be playing dates with the always terrific Left Lane Cruiser, so I am thinking blues fans are going to start taking notice… which works out well as these girls kick ass and take names.

[MP3]:: Gold Rush



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Posted at 4:51 PM by ack :: 0 comments

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