Cadence Music/Fontana North/Pheromone
The Pack A.D.
Vancouver’s The Pack A.D. have always been a great duo for loud and proud rock with some of the most addictive riffs in the nation. While they’ve always been a gritty thrill, their fun has often left the depth for sparing moments. On their seventh album however, the band really push themselves, making their loud rock more memorable and their softer moments all the more exciting.
Beating hard from the outset, “Woke Up Weird” starts the record on a flurry of riffs and immense drums. Slowly moving to haunting vocal effects and a smothering sense of production, give the track a deeper sense of emotion and mood. The overall catchy writing has definitely increased f or the band as well, as they deliver memorable hooks across the record consistently. “$” flares with a more direct and hard-rock edge, that leans into its simple writing with a smirk. Blowing out the distortion and letting their Swiss Army knife of a hook carry the track, they deliver a fun track that knows exactly what it is.
“Dollhouse” slows down for a grimy and mysterious crawl that seeks to freak out listeners while upping the grooves substantially. While definitely missing some of the excitement of the album’s opening, the track more than makes up for it with the wash of sounds throughout the track. Infusing a deeper sense of pop into the vocals, “Thomas Hardy” is a unique track on the record as it goes for a deceptively low-key sound. It’s single note verses may drag a little but the way they create black holes sonically in their choruses and bridges is enough to make it a stirring listen.
Getting a hefty swing on “March of The Martians” they add theatrics to their writing while crafting a booming interlude that will no doubt be used to hype up crowds at a The Pack A.D. live show.
“Not Alright” is one of those tight and sweet, dark rock songs that delivers a simple lick that manages to be more infectious than you’d expect. Blending a surprising surf edge into their composition, the track is a hypnotic rush of sound that makes the most out of basic elements. Using a light swing in more intimate ways than usual, “Because Of You” is a personal and pained track that shows a side of the Pack A.D. we’re rarely allowed into. The weight that it puts behind each chorus swing makes for a song that is an emotional powerhouse on the record, and one that you might not see coming.
Like a menacing army, “Does It Feel Good” grinds out riffs and terrifying drums as it opens, creating a sense of power that’s hard to shake. The way the vocals pop and scream above the barrage of sound, especially in the chorus, make for a track that comes down like a ton of bricks. “I Tried” closes the record on another stripped-back blues track, letting more subdued emotions shine. As much as it may seem like what you’ve heard before, each chorus resolve is a satisfying tumble over a sense of sadness and longing that will leave you devastated.
Words by Owen Maxwell