Pack A.D. – We Kill Computers

January 01, 1970

(Mint Records)

 

www.mintrecs.com

 

Dirty electric blooze isn’t supposed to be this brainy.  But The Pack A.D. is full of contradictions,
or what would seem contradictions if the music didn’t blow every hard rock
preconception out of the water.  To get
the chauvinist nonsense out of the way first, here are two women musicians
whose chops are every ounce as heavy as any slope-browed neo-cock rocker.  That may sound like an odd thing to say as
late as 2010.  But what separates The
Pack A.D. from most of the post-Kim Deal and P.J. Harvey generation, and even
from easy comparative points like the White Stripes and Japandroids, is the
simple but important fact that you could listen to their three albums back to
back, and never once peg the genders of drummer Maya Miller and
singer/guitarist Becky Black if you didn’t look at the personnel list.  Black’s vocals are perfectly slotted in the
low tenor/high alto range, and Miller’s beats are totally aggro, covered in the
scuzz of garage rock, a male-dominated aesthetic if ever there was one.  So the music doesn’t really bend gender – it ignores the distinction
completely, kicking The Pack A.D. into the level of post-feminist hard rock.

 

None of which would matter, of course, if the music weren’t
this good, and We Kill Computers is a
dirty jewel, a record that rocks hard and keeps getting more interesting the
longer you listen to it.  The songs hit
like short, sharp punches, and they’re filled with cool moments like the
rideout instrumental breakdown on “Big Anvil” and Miller’s thunderous opening
drum statement on “Cobra Matte.”  It’s a
great driving record, an excellent summer record, one of those discs that comes
out when the mood needs revving up.  And
the music is complex enough to keep revealing new wrinkles on repeated spins,
which – say what you will about the cathartic value of hard rawk – just isn’t
something you can say of most garage records. 

 

You can say it of We
Kill Computers
, though, which makes it The Pack A.D. an excellent addition
to any fuzzy blooze collection.

 

Standout Tracks: “Everyone
Looks Like Everyone,” “They Know Me” ERIC WAGGONER

 

 

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