Song of the Day 8/13/08: The Pack A.D. - Making Gestures
I usually don't touch the word "timeless" in music reviews. So many nostalgic bands resemble amateur ventriloquists - throwing their voice to mimic another era, though their lips still twitch in this one. Rather than transcend their decade, these revival acts employ a sort of fumbling sleight of hand in an attempt to ditch the present entirely. You get the impression that if time machines existed, they'd skip out on their 2008 fame in exchange for the chance to be a forgettable flash in the pan from the more "authentic" 70s/80s/90s. And while this isn't always an off-putting technique - James Murphy, you sexy thing (free pass for actually being alive in the era he idolizes) - the emphasized disdain for the present is in most cases cringe-worthy.
Which is why I revel in the opportunity to dust off that word, timeless, to use it in full capacity for today's song of the day. It's "Making Gestures" by The Pack A.D., and while I'm not ready to fling any brazen predictions about their longevity, I will say that this is the most confident a band has sounded about their place in the music timeline in a long time. It's a wicked blues-rock crossover that pays respect to the past without betraying a subconscious debt or inferiority complex to their predecessors. Dare I say (warning: blasphemy ahead!) that this is what The White Stripes could have been if they weren't so concerned with respecting the sanctity of their influences? Because fuck the concept of memorializing or commemorating the past - you place yourself at an inherent disadvantage by cowering at the feet of your idols. The Pack A.D. is what happens when you stare them down as equals - not the absolute best or most innovative band around, but I'll be goddamned if they aren't brave.
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