by Tiana Feng
Release Date: January 28th, 2014
The duo of May Miller and Becky Black have left the fuzzy punk sounds of their past to something more melodic and pop in their latest album Do Not Engage.
The punk attitude is definitely still there but they’ve employed pop-music elements like recognizable guitar riffs, “oooos” and handclaps (“Big Shot”). For an album called Do Not Engage, they sound like they are trying to appeal and engage more with the mainstream and were successful. “Animal” is a ferocious rock tune that owns its prey. The duo does an awesome job of having a big sound, like they couldn’t possibly be only two people.
This is the new teenage self-deprecating album. We all had that pop-punk phase in high-school and The Pack A.D. might be part of this generation’s. “Stalking is Normal” provides an outlet for those that swoon over boys (or girls) with “I watch you in my house from my car / Should this be normal / I tattooed your name on my arm.” Not creepy at all right? “Loser” on the other hand has Black singing emotionally about being alone because she chose to be. Most enthralling is “The Water” that lets loose of all constraints and pop-isms for full on instrument bashing.
The band chooses to end with the slower “Needles” which resembles a dream-pop tune with just vocals and softly strummed electric guitar. It ends abruptly with the last “Every breath I take is a second that I cannot replace. And when I feel like this I wish , I wish I could shut it off”