Pack A.D.: Dos badasses

At first blush, the idea of a two-piece rock ‘n’ roll band instantly conjures up images of the White Stripes. Enter in the Pack A.D. who are here to make you forget about the White Stripes – they’ll take the punk blues and add layers of ferocity and subtlety.

Composed of drummer Maya Miller and guitarist/vocalist Becky Black, The Pack A.D. hail from “the mean streets” of East Vancouver, B.C. The duo began playing together in 2006 and quickly found a following in their hometown. By 2008, they’d signed to Vancouver’s Mint Records, home to The Evaporators, Hot Panda, and The Handsome Family, among others, and one of the more important sources of music coming out of Vancouver.

Since their signing to Mint Records, the band has been full speed ahead, touring and recording non-stop – progressing exponentially with each release. On tour again, The Pack A.D. has been promoting their fourth album on Mint, Unpersons, which was released last year, and continues to win over critics and fans alike. As their tour wraps up, they’ll be heading back into the studio to work on their next masterpiece.

On their latest five-week stretch they’ve been playing dates primarily through Canada, heading out to Halifax, Nova Scotia and back, before swinging down for a short Pacific Northwest leg of the tour. “The tour has been going super great. We have really been slugging along in the U.S., in a good way,” said Miller.

Once the tour is wrapped up, the Pack A.D. plan to record with Jim Diamond (The Dirtbombs, The Paul Collins Beat, The White Stripes) in the new year. Diamond, who also recorded Unpersons, is a prominent force in the Pack A.D. “We love Jim. He is like the third bandmate we never had,” said Miller. Diamond had mastered 2010’s We Kill Computers, but insisted on coming out from Michigan to Vancouver to record Unpersons. After recording, the three flew back to Michigan where they perfected the mix. The sound quality and care put into the recording paid off for the band with an ever expanding fan base.

What makes this duo create rock ‘n’ roll nuggets is not like your average band’s songwriting sessions. “We are really inspired by books, video games and movies more so than music,” said Miller. A unique method of inspiration that works for this group seems to be why they have been so successful in their previous endeavors – eschewing the norm for the unique.

The sound of the Pack A.D. is full and rich, beyond what you’d expect from a two-piece. While their sound can be generalized as rock ‘n’ roll, it digs deeper and dodges the easy label for a more pronounced dynamic – Miller’s claim that their ultimate show would be with Kate Bush seems oddly appropriate. They’d fit on a bill with Kate Bush as easily as they would with The Evaporators, Vancouver’s long loved nutty punk rock.

The Pack A.D. is coming to town, get ready.