January 2014 National Music Reviews

Review: The Pack A.D. – Do Not Engage

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The Pack A.D.

Do Not Engage

Nettwerk Music Group

Street: 01.28

The Pack A.D. = Garbage + Deap Vally + The Cranberries

The follow-up to 2011’s Unpersons, Do Not Engage again finds The Pack deep inside the blues-rock universe with some sharp, tight guitar riffs and soulful, rough-spun vocals from Becky Black and driving rhythms from Maya Miller. By now, many of us have heard every incarnation of blues-acid-rock-fuckin’-something-or-other so we might find ourselves a little discriminating. Sure, The Pack A.D. don’t redefine the genre, but they cover a lot more ground than a lot of their contemporaries with plenty of cutting lines, high-pressure drum kicks, and even some mellow tracks to keep the pace varied. Highlights are “Loser,” which has an almost Cobain-meets-Morissette self-loathing feel, “Battering Ram,” which has a simple riff and turbo-potent melody reminiscent of tracks from Black Keys’ Thickfreakness and “Rocket” with a great off-kilter chorus that’s both disorienting and charming. It might not be anything fresh, but it’s a good listen. –CJ Morgan
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