The Pack A. D. are a band that truly proves that what is needed in a rock is raw talent and not just a big number of members to fill the silences. Maya Miller and Becky Black are excellent at coming up with interesting combinations of garage rock, blues and pop melodies. It is quite entertaining to expect a melody to stay the same and then have this turned on its head – the band’s new album ‘Positive Thinking’ is full of unexpected musical twists and turns.
So many bands fall into the “mathematical approach” to rock music, a genre that primarily focuses on freedom, emotions and raw energy. Simple power chord progressions, uninspiring drum beats and bass lines that could put a toddler on a sugar rush to sleep – that is what the dreary modern rock soundscape sometimes feels like. However, ‘Positive Thinking’ sticks to the roots and deals with the raw intensity of rock and roll.
The album starts off with a perfect anthem for modern love called ‘So What’. The vocals are full of dismay and sarcasm – just the right blend to grip attention. The overall melody has a perfect amount of edginess mixed with pop qualities making it extremely catchy and fun to listen to.
‘Yes, I Know’ also impresses. It has a classic amplified drum beat mixed with a rough distorted guitar sound. There are certainly White Stripes similarities, however, it manages to discover its own niche by needing less reliance on the bass and exaggerating its pop aspects.
Midway through the album the start-out energy seems to tame down and the songs are more introspective and emotional. While they are still enjoyable it feels a little bit like the moment at the party, when it is 4am and everyone is crashing on couches or even the floor, completely drained of their energy. As mentioned before, it isn’t bad, but definitely unexpected.
The album closes with a moody track ‘Fair Enough’. The aforementioned “mathematical approach” to song-writing momentarily appears, only for the track to rip its mask off and turn into a dark edgy rock melody, fully accompanied with sharp aggressive vocals. It’s clever, well crafted rock that symbolises a band who refuse to stick to the norm.
‘Positive Thinking’ is a fun record that slightly gets lost in what it is trying to be, yet still remains charming at its core. Even the less energetic numbers maintain their rock qualities and do not negatively affect the overall listening experience.
‘Positive Thinking’ is out now via Cadence Music.
This Pack A.D. article was written by Neringa Bielskyte, a GIGsoup contributor.