If you’ve checked out the reviews of blues-rockers the Pack A.D., you’ve likely noticed a slew of praise, with critics noting that the two women are a “not-so-stereotypical girl duo” who don’t make “so-called ”˜girly’ music”. On one hand, it’s annoying as hell that music is still judged on the gender of those playing it, but on the other, it’s understandable: you rarely hear about women performing dirty bar blues.
That’s a pity, because as Tintype proves, hard sludgy blues is perfectly suited to the ferocity of a woman scorned. The album opens with “Gold Rush”, a sonic assault from vocalist-guitarist Becky Black and drummer Maya Miller that quickly settles into a lusty crawl. By the time Tintype hits its halftime highlight, the menacing “What’s Up There”, it’s clear that no one is messing around with gimmicky modernism here. Black’s voice—a mix of Karen O, Janis Joplin, and ’70s-era Buddy Guy—is in perfect symbiosis with her guitar, and Miller’s drums are restrained when they need to be and pugilistic when they don’t. As anyone who’s worked with an overzealous drummer can tell you, these are laudable, rare qualities.