The Pack A.D.

Picture of The Pack A.D.

Unpersons

The Pack A.D. - Unpersons ©2011 Mint Records
1. Sirens
2. Haunt You
3. Lights
4. 8
5. Rid of Me
6. Seasick
7. Take
8. Positronic
9. Body Parts
10. Pieces
11. Cardinal Rule
12. Ride
13. Hear Me Out

While admittedly I make a variety of skeptical expressions when I hear about two piece bands these days, The Pack A.D. are one of those acts who should be judged by the two most important factors in music: quality of songwriting and ability to deliver that onstage. And fortunately The Pack achieve both of those requirements with room to spare. Now on their fourth album since 2007, this Vancouver, BC, based act has slowly been building a buzz about themselves based entirely on stellar live shows and relentless touring. It also is a point in their favor that they happen to be making some good records in the process.

Unpersons sticks to the band's general sound: efficient but commanding drumming matched to outstanding vocals and guitars. Becky Black, who handles the dual job of vocals and guitar playing, is one of the more impressive musicians to come out of Vancouver in recent years. Her voice has a timeless quality that conjures up visions of soulful singers from any era. Her guitar playing perfectly matches the melodies, with blues-ish riffs creating musical moods. More impressively, this band is capable of coming up with instantly catchy tracks that retain far more musical depth than any disposable pop act out there. Recently I was playing this album at work and coworker caught himself humming along to "Haunt You" within seconds of hearing the chorus. That infectious quality is in full effect throughout the record. The best part about the Pack A.D. is that between the abilities of Black and the talent of drummer Maya Miller to properly fill the gaps, there is never a sense this band is lacking something because they never bothered finding a bassist. Over the years I've seen quite a few two piece acts and often I'd walk away feeling like they were lacking something. Heck, I've seen trios, quartets and beyond that can't kick up the same rock and roll dust as The Pack A.D.

If possible, it is recommended that you see The Pack A.D. live as that is the setting where they shine the most. Black is entirely capable of delivering the same exceptional singing and guitar performance onstage. This duo has undeniable chemistry. They are the type of band that makes you want to rush home and put on their records to play over and over after seeing them live. But whether you turn out in person to see them or pick up Unpersons, The Pack A.D. deserve your ears.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 01/2012

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