12/09/14 – The Sinclair

The Pack A.D. stands for the pack after dinner, or the pack after death, or after dessert, or pack a day. Whatever you want—you just pick it,” said Maya Miller, drummer for Vancouver’s rock ‘n’ roll duo, The Pack A.D.

Being a band that is perhaps better suited for the ‘90s age of Nirvana grunge rule; it’s a step back in time to walk into the Sinclair and hear the Pack A.D.’s set. I stood in the back with my RBF on to try to fit into the crowd. The all-black-wearing, punky concert-goers had a low-key kind of energy, but you could see their beers spilling over the edge as they tapped their feet rhythmically along to the smashing drums.

Opening for Man or Astro Man?, The Pack A.D. played a set list full of the soft grunge fans love to be angsty to. Joan Jett-esque in nature, the all-female band channels strong drum beats and electric guitar rips that sounded killer thanks to the quality acoustics at the Sinclair.

Comprised of Becky Black on guitar and vocals and Maya Miller on drums and back-ups, the band is one of those to fall for as soon as you feel the dimly lit walls of the brick-walled venue vibrate with the chords. Black has a sexy low register that complements Miller’s drum skills. They both tore apart their respective instruments, and I wouldn’t have been surprised if Black had smashed her guitar at the end of the show.

When introducing “Sirens” off their 2011 album Unpersons, Black stated, “If you figure [this next song] out, you can try to sing along,” underlying the fact that most of their songs are pretty damn hard to sing along to. Good. We don’t need any more of those—at least not this audience. This crowd preferred to feel the strong beat as Miller bang, bang, bang-ed on the bass of her drums.

After the set, Miller hung around the merch stand, chatting with anyone who approached her. Despite the band’s Canadian roots, she had a Californian feel about her; standing in black skinnies and a simple button-up short sleeve made by surf company RVCA, rocking a shaggy, short haircut, and her relaxed and humorous air it would have been easy to label them as a duo from the opposing coast. Until, that is, when asked about the band’s trademark: “Smashing brains,” Miller joked.

Our Punk Rock Phase: The Pack A.D.
Pros
  • Grungy 90s aesthetic
  • Strong beat
  • Better sound live
Cons
  • Lyrics hard to hear
  • Mega angsty (sometimes)
9.1Overall Score

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