There have been a decent number of fairly successful guitar and drum rock duos out there in the past five years or so. Think Japandroids, No Age, Black Keys, and, oh yeah, the White Stripes, too. Each one has managed to sculpt a unique niche for themselves in popular music.
But Vancouver-based rock duo, The Pack A.D. can’t really be counted among the above mentioned, and their latest full-length album, We Kill Computers, probably won’t get them any closer. There’s only one gear on the entire album: full power distorted guitar chords, blues licks and a dynamically-challenged rhythm section. The songs seem tired, and almost like they’ve been written before — by the early White Stripes.
The one saving grace on the album is Becky Black’s voice. Although at times underwhelming, there are definitely moments in a few songs. In “The Big Anvil,” in particular, it sounds as if Black is trying to knock down the walls with sheer vocal power. Most of the time the lyrics themselves are unintelligible, but that may be for the better. Everything is printed on the CD insert and, at best, the lyrics are uninspired, at worst, nonsensical.
The album is clearly meant to be played at high volume, and under certain circumstances (i.e., at the bar, under the influence and in a rancorous mood), it could probably be a worthwhile listen. But other than that, as a third full-length effort , this album is fairly uninspiring, right down to the cover and insert design. The Pack A.D. certainly have the vocal chops and right attitude, but in order to make a name for themselves they’ll have to put a little more into their next effort.
★★ out of ★★★★★