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Fast Lane 

Tearing up the road with sounds from the garage

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There will be no mercy for Vancouver rock duo the Pack A.D. No rest. No respite. Drummer Maya Miller sums it up succinctly: “We played 157 shows last year. That’s a show every other day.” That’s six months of sound checks, sweat and free-flowing booze. And it’s a lot of travel.

“Only three of those were in our hometown. We went all across the country. We went to Europe. We even went to South America,” Miller says.

But the Pack A.D. definitely makes road music. Fast and frenzied, the two-girl guitar-and-drums outfit plays music that — between guitarist Becky Black’s devilish shredding and Miller’s reverberating, almost tribal drumming — threatens to make the White Stripes look like absolute pansies.

Starting out on a lark, Black and Miller began as a pseudo-blues outfit. But over time, their focus has shifted.

“It’s a natural progression for us … over the last couple of years, touring and getting to know what we like to play. It just kept getting louder and louder as we went on,” Miller says.

She says the Pack A.D. makes nearly pure garage rock now, though she’s not too keen on defining the genre.

“We used to play a lot more slow blues songs. But we found that we never played them live,” Miller says.

So out they went. Most of what the band does springs from their live show. They are a band meant to be seen live.

“There are bands that have an amazing album and you go see them live and eh, they’re kind of OK,” she says. “And sometimes you see a band live and they’re awesome, but you go buy the CD and eh, it’s kind of OK. We want to get both parts right.”

With the amount of dancing, drinking and moshing (even the occasional stage-diving) going on at the Pack A.D.’s shows, it’s safe to say that they’re achieving their goals. Miller says she and Black love the response: “The best show for us personally is when the audience is going a little crazy — the audience is just as much a part of the show as the band. When they’re just standing there, you have to work three times as hard to keep the energy up. But when the audience is right there with you, moving, it’s easy to bring it.”

The Pack A.D. plays with Belt of Vapor and The Soul and the Machine at Sunset Junction on Saturday, April 10, at 8 pm. Tickets: $5. 21 . Call 455-9131.


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