Johnny Brenda's Presents

PACKS

Ages 21 and up
Wednesday, May 01
Doors: 7pm
$16

*All events are 21+ valid ID required for entry*

7 PM – Doors
8 PM – Show

PACKS
Madeline Link, who makes music under the moniker PACKS, has always found inspiration in her surroundings.  When it came to newest effort Melt the Honey (her second full-length in the space of a year), she wanted to look beyond the mundane spaces that had informed much of her previous work.  Over the course of 11 days last March, Link and the rest of her band (Dexter Nash [guitar], Noah O’Neil [bass] and Shane Hooper [drums]) gathered in Mexico City, a city that already held a special place in her heart as an artist-in-residence at Casa Lü in 2020).  PACKS practiced new songs in a rented studio space, with each member bringing their aesthetic sensibility to the table. From there, they took a bus to Xalapa where they spent the remainder of their time abroad working at a house known as Casa pulpo, an architectural feat removed from the bustle of city life, owned and operated by Wendy Moira, the visionary behind Teatro Lucido, a prominent theater and music venue in Mexico City. “The house has no straight lines, it puts you in a creative mindset,” Link says. “Plus, it was really warm, we were there for three weeks enjoying the weather and self-recording with minimal equipment.”
Melt the Honey emulates the environment in which it was made; it’s a warm, unvarnished album, one that invites the listener into PACKS’s familial way of working. Listening to it makes one feel as if they were there in the forests of Veracruz while the band laid down tracks. “Paige Machine” opens with the hiss of rain from an epic thunderstorm as Hooper counts in the song that was inspired by Mark Twain. “He invested in a printing device called the Paige Compositor, spent his life’s savings on it, and it worked almost perfectly, it would have been revolutionary,” Link explains. “But then the inventor, Paige, took it apart to tweak something, make the machine work even better, and it never worked again. They say that this failure led to Mark Twain’s decline.” To Link, the Paige Machine is an apt metaphor for life, wherein our stubborn, progress-hungry attempts to improve what is already working can lead to obsessive tinkering and endless re-dos. Embracing imperfection proved critical while recording at Casa pulpo, where outages caused by storms and inconsistent electrical wiring ended up serving the record’s ethos rather than hindering it. Another stand-out track, “HFCS,” begins with Link singing a note far out of her typical register. “I dunno if that’s gonna work,” she says, laughing, before the bold lead guitar part takes over, launching them into a straight-up power pop song reminiscent of the Hives. It’s a song that’ll get the crowd moving, as Link sings about the tantalizing, if sickening, promise of downing a bottle of Crown high fructose corn syrup, just for the thrill of it. “It’s about that creepy rush of adrenaline,” she says. “Like when you drink a lot of pop or get a text from a crush.”

DOLL SPIRIT VESSEL (Solo)

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