Canadian Music Corner: Pack A.D. & Chixdiggit!

Brendan Kergin, Arts & Entertainment Editor Ω

Pack A.D.

Anyone looking for an explosive duo playing 1970s-tinged rock with a seriously modern edge? Pack A.D.

The Vancouverites bring power chords, slamming drums and smoky, melodic vocals. And they’re girls, rock ‘n’ roll patriarchy be damned.

Living on that edge of hipster-cool and garage-rock griminess, they pump out tunes made for dingy places with erratic lighting and big speakers. Night; it just seems ideal for the night, with leather jackets, sunglasses and a pint.

The bluesy-ness of their style moves them into a unique position when compared to other garage-rock duos like the Japandroids, Death From Above 1979 and The Black Keys. It’s not as fast paced or dirty. The guitar isn’t as much of a the center piece as it is in other duos, with Maya Miller’s drums more prominent.

That isn’t to say Becky Black’s guitar playing is subpar – it’s not – but with a really unique voice she relies more on her vocals. A white woman’s bluesy-sound, similar to Katie Stelmanis of Austra, but used and trained in a totally different way, raw and even visceral at times as opposed to controlled.

Also, according to their CBC Music profile, they like soup.

For a taster try “Sirens” off of Unpersons, their most recent release.

Taylor Rocca, Copy/Web Editor Ω


Chixdiggit! isn’t exactly new to the Canadian music scene having been around since the early-1990s.

Their most recent release is 2011’s Safeways Here We Come, a seven-track EP released on Fat Wreck Chords. The short release includes the tracks “Swedish Rat” and “Miso Ramen.”

The band comes from Calgary at the bottom of the beautiful foothills of Alberta’s Rocky Mountains.

Despite being around the Canadian punk scene for more than 20 years, the foursome has only released four full-length studio albums, as well as a re-issue of their self-titled debut.

“Geocities Kitty,” found on 2005’s Pink Razors, is one of the most well-known tracks from the band, with lead singer KJ Jensen sharing a story about heart-break and the cure available courtesy of the Internet.

Chixdiggit! wouldn’t be a relatable Canadian punk-racket without the inclusion of some well-known Canadiana within their songs. “I Drove the Coquihalla” is particularly notable and while not necessarily the deepest lyrical masterpiece, Jensen sings desperately about making the long and arduous drive down B.C.’s Coquihalla highway in order to be with the one he loves.

It goes without saying hockey will typically leak into the influence of Canadian punk acts and Chixdiggit! is no exception to the unwritten rule. “(I Feel Like) Gerry Cheevers (Stitch Marks on My Heart)” is all about the former Boston Bruins goaltender, a fantastic tribute to a great hockey player.

Also worthy listens out of the Chixdiggit! library: “Chupacabras,” “Spanish Fever,” and “My Dad vs. P.M.”