Plenty of people can make an entrance. Almost nobody has a good exit strategy. The veteran Vancouver garage-rock duo of The Pack AD are an exception that proves the rule. After eight albums in 14 years, singer-guitarist Becky Black and drummer Maya Miller insist that their tellingly titled It Was Fun While It Lasted is their swan song studio release. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s a fairly moody and downbeat affair, laced with darkly textured slow-burners featuring self-explanatory song titles like Give Up, It’s OK and Change Kills. But even if isn’t their most celebratory set, you have to give them full points for having the sense to call it a day when they’re still in their prime — and the skills to craft an album that allows them to walk away with their heads held high. So, when can we start bugging them for a comeback?
THE PRESS RELEASE: “This spring The Pack AD will release It Was Fun While It Lasted, their eighth, and, as both of them tell me, final album. It Was Fun While It Lasted began as a gathering up and repolishing of the B sides the duo recorded for their previous album, Positive Thinking, but then something else happened: the road dust settled, they added a couple of new songs, and there stood this record: defiant, determined, a little bit wiser, and, like a pair of near perfect parenthesis, my favourite work of theirs since Tintype first hit me in the guts 13 years ago. It Was Fun While It Lasted is both a love and a hate letter to the road. The fire-hardened spine of the band is omnipresent: the black leather boot stomping drums, the stark and sometimes dismal poetry scratched into the space between the lyrics, the why don’t you just watch me do it all by myself guitar lines, it’s all there. This is the last record of a band that has always always kept its promises. These 12 songs dissemble and then stitch back together all of the things that many of us carry around in our mental luggage these days: depression, disconnect, deterioration, fatigue, frustration, fear. Fear of the lonely abyss, fear of planetary destruction, fear of the next school shooting. “Making music and touring it, you are constantly reminded of how small you are, and you must summon enough ego to think that your contribution is even vaguely worthwhile.” says Becky over a black coffee and breakfast. Maya nods and adds that after they tour this album, The Pack AD intends to pack it in. “I’m tired of being humbled.” she says. It Was Fun While It Lasted is more than just a swan song. It’s a skillfully written unapologetic break-up letter from two great musicians who have blessed us with one more record full of guts and heart and sweat and strength. They’re not leaving this tour van by the side of the road. They’re trading it in while it’s still got tons of good rubber on the tires.”