Music Reviews

PACKS Melt the Honey

(Fire Talk) Rating - 6/10

Traveling abroad can equally call forth moments of joy and weariness. PACKS lead singer and songwriter Madeline Link confronts those feelings head-on on the Canadian band's third LP, Melt the Honey, which they worked on during a two-week getaway in east-central Mexico. Having been acquainted with the country after joining an artist's retreat in 2020, she thought the change in scenery would inspire a different approach. And so it did. Using minimal resources, the band delivers raw, unfettered performances that feel authentic, bringing an immediacy to slow burners like Honey and Trippin'. On both tracks, she details quotidian moments that feel poignant and absurd. Her typically disaffected vocal cadence sounds apropos for HFCS, which leads with fuzz-inflected guitars over a slacker groove. Keeping with that theme is the acoustic-driven Her Garden, which is mainly informed by 90s lo-fi like most of this project, though it surprises with astringent melodic lines reminiscent of the DeLeo brothers. While Link's observations are often engaging on the album, they can sometimes get lost in her sometimes-affected lethargy.