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“Bold Statements” by PACK SOUNDS – full stream & track by track premiere!

11 mins read

It’s often interesting and entertaining when members of bands with well-established styles break off to form side projects with entirely different musical directions. Of course there are many that should rather stick to their core speciality, but there are many that surprise with a great intuition in new sooundscapes and  feel comfortable in a whole new stylistic direction. Kalamazoo, Michigan’s PACK SOUNDS are one of such bands that seem to have everything to gain success in fields way different than their original deliveries. Featuring members of experimental post rock / post hardcore act LOCKTENDER and mathy, emotional post hardcore band THE REPTILIAN, prog mathcore experimentalists SHOTO, grungy emo rockers GUPPY, and emotive alt punk rockers BIKE TUFF, PACK SOUNDS are hard to label, but easy to enjoy. With heartfelt, diversified songs touching on personal issues like “trials and tribulations over the last couple years from heart surgery to overindulgence to being in bands to equal rights”, the record serves as incredibly affecting, sincere and moving listen that we’re thrilled to premiere below, along with an insightful track-by-track commentary , brought to you by the band’s vocalist Andrew Kallicragas.

This record is an autobiographical tale of the ups and downs of growing up and getting older. The four years spent crafting this album have essentially been therapy for us to deal with the trials and tribulations that inspired the lyrics. Life is hard and maybe we don’t always cope with its stresses in the best or healthiest way. That said, hopefully our experiences are relatable enough to the listener that these songs inspire a sense of solidarity in knowing that we’re all in this together.

Recorded & Mixed by Jordan Wagel at The Krilosphere in Livonia, Michigan, mastered by Role Die Tonmeisterei in Oldenburg, Germany, “Bold Statements” by PACK SOUNDS is out digitally on June 29th, with a CD/tape version to follow on July 27th via Skeletal Lightning (USA) and I.Corrupt.Records (Germany), as well as a vinyl release this coming Fall. Album Cover by Jon Weed.



This was the first song that Pack Sounds ever wrote and I think it was a good jumping off point for the band. I think it sets the tone nicely for the record but for also what our band is about. The four of us have all been doing this for such a long time now, and even when it’s hard or things aren’t going too well, it’s always worth the effort in the end. The spirit of DIY and friendships we’ve made along the way have always kept us going. “902 Davis” was a pretty infamous house venue in Kalamazoo run by our guitarist Russ and other members of The Reptilian. I met Russ in Chicago around 2007/2008 and he was telling us we had to come play his house. My band from Detroit at the time, Men As Trees, had never played Kalamazoo, so we made plans and once we did we never looked back. Kalamazoo has been a touring staple for me ever since. A lot of people rave that NYC, Philly or somewhere else has the best music scene, but I truly believe Kalamazoo to be one of the most enthusiastic and supportive music towns around. We couldn’t be luckier to have Kalamazoo be the home base for Pack Sounds.


How many miles will we drive
To get to this place where the memories begin
As your dollars fade away
It’s time to commit, make sure all your chips are in
This life is not for everybody
This life is for me, and us, and all my friends in between

I don’t feel like I got any older
but these bones will tell a different story

Remember when we used to feel so high
Those late nights, well they were ours
Drinks in hand and friends by side
We were kings of the dirty North


This song, like many Pack Sounds songs, deals with my love/hate relationship with alcohol and a lifetime of broken promises to not overdo it again. For me, and I’m sure many others can relate, my drinking patterns seem to run in these habitual circles of overindulgence, drinker’s remorse & anxiety, abstinence, temporary moderation, overindulgence. The lyrics are pretty self explanatory but the end chord structure makes a circular path on the fret board so the title seemed fitting with its dual meanings.


Moderation always seems to escape me
Go big or go home, it’s just the way it’s always been
I can’t remember what happened last night
But I’m told it went well
It was all downhill from the last shotgun/shot down
But I’m told it went well


I taught English in South Korea in 2009/2010 with my brother & wife and this song is kind of my tribute to that time in my life. I was dealing with a lot of different emotions at the time. I was coming to grips with living in a place that was so different than home, which was an amazing experience but also so exhausting. I also was just diagnosed with Hereditary Angioedema (HAE) which is a super rare genetic disorder that randomly causes painful swelling in the body. At the time there was no medicine available for it, so I was prescribed some pretty harsh steroids that were slowly destroying my body with their terrible side effects. I’ve never felt worse and was thankful to get off them after I returned to the U.S. On top of all that, I just found out I was going to become a father. I was incredibly excited but also super stressed with trying to get out of teaching contracts and figure out life back in the U.S after just uprooting everything to move to Korea. So with all that going on and the encouraged overindulgence of Korean culture, I definitely drank way too much. “Jon Na Sse Ge Yo” is a horrible phrase that no one ever needs to know. It basically means “make it strong” or “make it poison”. It’s a great thing to tell your Korean bartender to get a laugh as you get served murder cocktails that will eventually be the end of you as a functioning human being.


Crossing oceans, we never saw this coming
How different life could be on the moon
Distant cultures, discover and adapting
To love and hate this new life all the same

Looking back, we forgot our life preservers
I’ll stay afloat by hanging on to you
Out of breath and lost as hell with you
Drinking to frustrations for two
Thoughts of the home that we once knew

If I drink until my whole body aches
Maybe my home will seem less far away


I had an incredibly shitty 2016. I was diagnosed with a leaking mitral valve in my heart so I had open heart surgery in January to kick the year off. It was an extremely difficult and trying process. Then a couple months later, fresh off recovery, I severely herniated a disc in my back on tour playing soccer with Lentic Waters. I’ve never been in more pain and to this day would rather have heart surgery again than deal with back issues. I could barely walk, sit, stand, sleep….pretty much everything hurt all the time. On top of all that, my Hereditary Angioedema (HAE) was flaring up more than usual due to all the stress the other issues were putting on my body. My back spasms also made it extremely difficult to take my required HAE stomach injections that help the symptoms subside. Needless to say, I was physically exhausted. I wrote this lying on the floor of my daughter’s bedroom while trying to do some rehabilitation stretches that were causing me to have muscle spasms. This song is me putting my frustrations with my body to paper.


I’m not pulling my weight
Trying hard or hardly trying
Hard to tell anymore
Maybe I’m beyond frustrated
I barely get off the floor
Dragging my feet to meet brick walls
Circular motion, circular progress
Positive efforts meant positively nothing

Always end up where I started
Perpetually broken, inevitably stunted
Stuck with the fact that my vessel is garbage
Unreliable, constant betrayals
Letting me down with every mechanical failure


This was written a little before marriage equality passed in the United States. Especially before the Supreme Court’s ruling, I was getting increasingly exhausted from seeing time and again so many people trying to prevent others from having the same rights as them simply because they didn’t understand or wouldn’t accept a different definition of love. I’m perpetually dumbfounded by the amount of people who like to stick their ignorant noses where they don’t belong. This song was written for all those who have been fighting the good fight over so many years. I appreciate their efforts to make a world where my daughter can grow up and love whoever she wants. The song itself used to be a much more complicated full band piece but I’m glad how it has evolved into a simplified version with a clear message.


You’ve got some nerve
Thinking that you get a say
When it’s none of your concern
Says a lot about you
That it irks you this bad
Bigots who get off opposing happiness
Have a heart
Think about your sons and daughters
That would be a start
Just because you don’t understand
Doesn’t mean that it’s wrong
Everybody deserves a chance to love

Save your labels for somebody else
Save your labels for yourself


I’ve always been a very ambitious person and I find I get very frustrated when I’m not moving forward, particularly when someone else is holding me up. I spent a lot of time trying to make relationships work and achieve goals with people who just couldn’t commit on the level that I needed. I love those people dearly but lives change and this song is an affirmation to myself to stop letting other people’s priorities and commitments prevent me from accomplishing my goals.


You’re cashing out
Right when I put coins back in the machine
Extra lives make way for life priorities

And I thought that we were warming up, warming up
I guess you’ve had enough
And I thought that we were warming up, warming up
This dream

It’s time for a solo play
But I’ll keep second player ready anyway
For a chance you’ll come around next level up


I think everyone in my circle of friends and family has probably uttered this phrase on occasion. The lyrics are pretty obvious and taken from personal accounts of being a disaster over the years. The record title “Bold Statements” was actually born out of this song. The act of making grandiose pledges that are typically quickly forgotten. This song is for anyone who has to think a little too long on how to answer the “alcohol use” portion of a general health questionnaire at the doctor’s office.


Thoughts are pounding
As I piece together last night
Will you comfort me
Tell me I was alright
We all know that it’s a lie
Cause as the whiskey got me going
And I turned from normal guy
To no Jekyll and all Hyde

How’d those 3 beers turn to 10
Tequila lined up, not again
Invincible and unaware
Inconsequential and impaired
Been down this road so many times
Feeling great at least tonight
Today’s highs, tomorrow’s lows
Today’s highs, tomorrow’s lows

Call me disaster
You’d think that I’d learn my lesson
Best intentions escape me
But it’s 10am so I do declare
That I’ll never drink again
Now how did that beer get in my hand

Sorry I pissed in the back bedroom
Ripped the mailbox off the wall yet again
Had choice words with your best friend
No, no we’re not afraid
To admit and accept the blame
Though, we can’t say we’re done
Cause sobriety just wouldn’t be the same

Continued below…

PACK SOUNDS band by Ina Foster-Goodrich
PACK SOUNDS band by Ina Foster-Goodrich


I wrote these lyrics on the side of the highway while driving home super late after a practice. It was a hot summer night and the most spectacular display of heat lightning was taking place, lighting up the entire sky for as far as I could see. I had never seen anything quite like it and the combination of the views and me blaring Ghastly City Sleep’s EP left me particularly inspired. For me, this song is about putting the work in. I think being in a band is a lot of fun but many people only see those aspects; A band on stage playing having a good time. They miss the countless hours spent practicing, driving, writing, spending and sacrificing to make that moment possible.


These bright lights mesmerize
My eyes drift though my ears have never been more awake
The inconvenience has become routine
The give and take
Rousing nights and sleepless days
Lets burn this match at both ends
Exhaustion can wait
Sedentary is for those already dead
This night and I have an understanding
The sacrifice for a greater purpose
Create and share, not sit and stare, not sit and stare


This may be my favourite track of the record but I also might be a little biased because my daughter sang a duet with me on it. She’s only 7 but did a killer job and I really couldn’t be more proud of her. I love that this song documents this moment in time for her and between us. The lyrics speak for themselves but I definitely feel for anyone who struggles with issues of anxiety and depression.


It’s hard to see the future
When you’re terrified of the past
Moving forward always seems to
Bring about a relapse
Views out dirty windows
Tire these anxious eyes
Jealousy, it grows outstanding
As others soak in the sunshine

If I could take just three steps that way
I could see it all
But this damn door weighs 15,000 lbs
I’m stuck here for right now
Watching my life go by

As if I
Could move


This is lyrically the heaviest song of the album so it seemed fitting to put it towards the end. I went through a lot of emotional turmoil trying to prepare myself for having heart surgery. It was so unexpected and even though the doctors tried to make the procedure sound routine, I couldn’t stop thinking about my mortality. I didn’t sleep much leading up the surgery and couldn’t seem to shake thoughts of how me dying would affect the loved ones around me, particularly my wife and daughter. I just felt totally helpless and almost like I was somehow getting robbed of a future I was promised. I know others have it worse, and I should be thankful that at least there was a medical fix to my problem, but it was still a very trying time. It really puts into perspective how much we stress in our day to day lives on things that don’t matter at all in the grand scheme of things.


Months of fear
Dreading mortality
But it’s necessary, so they say
Slice the heart, the only way
Think about my daughter, think about my wife
My nervous father can’t help this time
A final slumber
A chest cracked wide, a family cries

I felt fine until you told me that I was broken

No sleep tonight
I’m not ready, how could I be ready
No sleep tonight
It’s time (I’m not ready) it’s time (I’ll never be ready)


I’m a big fan of older Against Me albums and I’ve always loved songs like “Sink, Florida, Sink” that are made up of simple, repetitive chord structures contrasted by interesting, changing vocal patterns. The stripped down nature of the music lends a very unobstructed palette to present lyrics very honestly. After so many years playing in bands where the songs can be very complicated musically, I really enjoyed challenging myself to write something where I couldn’t rely on 30 guitar parts and instead had to focus on lyrics & melody. It was a nice way to close out the record. I also feel that since “Falls Risk” has such heavy lyrical content, “Libations” being more mellow gives the listener a chance to decompress.


At some point we call it quits, right?
It’s been a wild ride
Full of headaches and heartbreaks
But this liver has a best by date
It hasn’t appreciated these damn 3 to 8’s
I guess there’s always tomorrow
For finally turning over some new leafs
But as long as these depressants don’t get depressing
Rain checks on resolutions are always in order

PACK SOUNDS tour poster, by Nick Yonce
PACK SOUNDS tour poster, by Nick Yonce


7/26 Lansing, MI
7/27 Detroit, MI
7/28 Toronto, ONT
7/29 Montreal, QC
7/30 Burlington, VT
7/31 Brooklyn, NY
8/1 Asbury Park, NJ
8/2 Philadelphia, PA
8/3 Baltimore, MD
8/4 Pittsburgh, PA
8/5 Cleveland, OH

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