Myles Herod October 12, 2012
You couldn’t help but think The Runaways when watching Mad June. Six girls spread across Cherry Cola’s tiny stage – two guitars, drums, bass, keys and singer. ‘Woo, woo’ harmonies and in-unison clapping were on hand, too. Together it concocted a rollicking dose of sound – not always coherent – but an abundance of girl power heroics, nonetheless. Tedium never tapered their air of energy, with every member firmly set in place, solidly delivering in every respect.
Always moving and grooving. Vanessa McLean has a pleasant voice (somewhat childlike) that slithers well against the grit. Throughout the set, her footwork would spontaneously lead off stage, belting her pipes amidst the crowd as the band kept the engine revving. While solos were plentiful, and the guitar interplay of rhythm and lead were gracious, the drums offered a nice crispness that evoked some disco flavour in instances.
Mad June was met with open arms, performing as Cherry Cola’s third act Friday night. A steady stream of people seemed to flow in from Bathurst St., all ages alike. Some patrons, well over 40, were visible, perhaps tickled by the sound emanating onto the outside sidewalk. Appreciation was conveyed by leader McLean, thanking everyone for coming out, with a little Quebecois hospitality sprinkled in, reiterating her gratitude in French as well.
If you’re a member of Mad June, wearing black is obviously a prerequisite. Black boots, pants, hair, eye shadow and them some. Some flashes of bad teeth were also prevalent, but hey, no one said female rockers had to be glamourous. These ladies were tough and impassioned – with musicianship that was never indulgent.
Cranking the amps up to 12, Mad June know a thing or two about composition and harmonies. Their formula was simple: give you a little taste of sweetness with McLean’s voice, then kick it into high gear with clamouring choruses. A solid act that incite comparison to The Breeders and The Runaways. Just because they are an all girl group doesn’t mean they can’t bring intensity. When everything gelled, Mad June were a cut above the rest.
Total: 20/ 25
Photography by: Myles Herod