The Pack A.D. with Man or Astro-Man? and Wray

Wednesday • Ballroom at the Taft Theatre

click to enlarge The Pack A.D.
The Pack A.D.

Four scores (or albums, if you will) and seven years ago, our insane cousins to the north (Canada geographically and Vancouver more specifically) brought forth on this continent a new band, a guitar/drum duo dubbed The Pack A.D., sporting the adrenalized power of an unmanned locomotive with the throttle set to “bat out of hell.”

Guitarist/vocalist Becky Black plays with my-fist-your-face intensity and sings with a Rock-blackened rasp that reinforces her physical swagger, while drummer Maya Miller keeps the frenetic beat with the unhinged energy of an amphetamine-soaked octopus. Together the pair crank out a sound that has been melting faces and setting off seismographic and tsunami monitors since their 2006 formation.

The Pack A.D.’s first two albums, 2007’s Tintype and 2008’s Funeral Mixtape, were both powerful Hard Rock/Blues hybrids, with Black and Miller redefining the Blues for a contemporary audience with volume and power at its core.

With 2010’s We Kill Computers, The Pack A.D. shifted gears slightly as they hewed closer to the Garage Rock direction of The White Stripes, The Black Keys and The Greenhornes, and 2011’s Unpersons continued in a similarly visceral vein, with new layers of complexity provided by the album’s theme of love-gone-wrong and the horrors that await us when we allow our humanity to be compromised (Detroit uber-producer Jim Diamond helmed both sets).

On the Pack A.D.’s latest album and their debut for Nettwerk, Do Not Engage, the duo accesses the Grunge elements of its Pacific Northwest heritage while slamming through a set that references Classic Rock iconography, Glam Punk histrionics and big-beat tribal Rock with barely a breath between songs.

There is very little in the way of subtlety in a Pack A.D. set; Black’s internal and external equipment is cranked to 11 and Miller drums with the authority of Thor’s hammer in one hand and Zeus’ lightning bolts in the other.

Gird your loins, The Pack A.D. is coming to put itself between its Rock and your hard place.

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