Every now and then a band needs a change. For Vancouver duo The Pack A.D., the time had come to take their music in a new direction. Gone is the grungy blues from their first records — their latest, We Kill Computers, is straight-up garage rock.
“It was a natural progression,” says singer and guitarist Becky Black, as she and her bandmate, Maya Miller, are driving across New York state. “We get sick of playing the same thing over and over again, and in the end these songs didn’t have as much blues.”
The record is a guttural collection of abrasive guitar rock — not unlike the band they get compared to the most, The White Stripes. But the group also has some Queens of the Stone Age and Led Zeppelin in them. Big Anvil’s meaty, opening riff gives way to Miller’s pounding drums and Black’s Jack White-ish pipes. This one’s got more of a blues bent than most of the songs on the record, but there’s a healthy amount of Sabbath-like rock too.
Besides the lack of blues, the most noticeable difference between the two records is that their sophomore effort, Funeral Mixtape, featured a lot of slow, sludgy songs. We Kill Computers is completely opposite — almost every song is a relentless guitar attack.
Black explains that they took their time in the studio on their second album, which meant they had more opportunities to experiment. “We had time to come up with all these slow songs,” she says. “But we realized we didn’t play a lot of those songs slow live, so we decided to come up with a rocking album.
“The last album was a little heavy ... It’s not really our personalities.”
While their musical shift will get some attention, their album’s provocative title is also sure to raise a few eyebrows. Black says there’s nothing cryptic behind We Kill Computers — she’s just not into social media. “Me and Maya have a mutual dislike of the computer and networking,” she admits. “It’s annoying.”
The twosome have a Facebook page and upload their music videos to YouTube, but they don’t have a Twitter account and they won’t start one anytime soon.
“We have enough connecting with fans on Facebook and MySpace,” she says. “Twitter eliminates the mystery.”
Luckily, their fans are little less down on technology. “We put up our music videos and that’s about it,” says Black. “It’s other people who end up putting most of our footage online.”