Agony Shorthand

Monday, April 18, 2005
THE PACK : "THE PACK" CD.....If you can imagine a gravel-throated version of "Something Better Change"-era DOA teaming up with prime-era OBLIVIANS to play ultra-sweaty, raw-ass 70s punk -- well -- you just might have Germany's THE PACK. The Pack! The Pack are not of this era, no sir, if fact they predate both aforementioned bands (1978) and are sort of the lost wandering minstrels of the second-tier 1970s punk scene. I've barely paid attention to them until forced to (thanks BT), and now I'm squarely, firmly in their camp. About a decade ago Tim Warren was making some serious noises about them in his Crypt catalog and what was a then-recent limited-edition CD, but I ignored it (and it's not wise to ignore Warren's taste too often). Now them I'm dialed in, let me tell you about it. Like I said, these guys had a boatload of heft and muscle behind their sound a la DOA, but there's no doubt that one of our teutonic friends (drummer "Daniel Dynamite", perhaps?) was a serious garage rock freak. His handprints are all over this thing. These guys beat & crash like an early KINKS trying to cop a 1977 "no future/no values" sort of vibe, and the lyrics tend toward the "We're going to kick your ass" variety. But there's something about that 60s rawness that really takes this one way over the top, that and the fact that while no one single track is a "classic", every single one is more than solid. It could've been from Germany, it could have been from Holland, it could have been from Vancouver. You'd never know. But it's really friggin' good. So why can't I find a single thing on the "Wide World Web" about it??