Harriet Kaplan

The Mrs @ The Peppermint Club – 11/01/2017

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The MrsThe Mrs is an all-female pop/rock based band from Austin, Texas. The group has their heart in the right place “with a mission of writing songs to connect with women like me — mothers who strive for a full life and want to have it all: personal relationships, careers, marriages and friendships,” according to the drummer and founder Andrea Leimandt. The messages did come through during a recent show at The Peppermint Club on Wednesday November 1. But ultimately, the songs are fairly average, when performed live, didn’t leave a lasting impression because the material played from their first EP and forthcoming self-titled debut LP, is just ok.

Performing two covers by The Lumineers and Vance Joy very early in their set, though, done very well, wasn’t the best choice because it drew more attention to their weaknesses, rather than strengths as songwriters of their own original material. Overall, The Mrs songs fell short of a creating a powerful impact. It just seemed more anticlimactic and was far less compelling. Maybe the covers were way too commercial and predictable. Instead, The Mrs should have thrown in a creative curveball. It would have served the band better in that they were really willing to put themselves on the line and take some risks. The same could be said about their own material. Though “This Is Not A Lullaby” was an exception and hinted at life’s harsh realities lurking beneath the placid, safe surface.

But after all, The Mrs have promoted themselves in the press, as moms, wives and rock stars last. There is nothing wrong with that. It’s very commendable and definitely American as apple pie. The Mrs are positive, upbeat women that want you to know it’s important to believe in yourself and spoke from stage to deliver a uplifting thoughts about self-empowerment.

The group, also featuring  Mandy Prater on guitar/vocals, Jenny Mason on bass guitar, and Larissa Ness on keyboard/vocals, are competent and serviceable musicians. Though it was not clear if Prater sang live at first or used a backing vocal track. Then later, it was detectable her raw, live vocals were utilized, but they seemed a bit buried in the mix, as the set progressed.

Though The Mrs are all hip, well dressed and attractive women with appealing personalities, the onstage charisma and chemistry often wasn’t there. The performances seemed more independent (disconnected) from one another rather than coming from musical unit working in sync more as a collaborative team exuding passionate exciting interplay.

Also prominent and obtrusive spotlight emanating from the stage was a big distraction during The Mrs show and it came at the expense of the audience trying comfortably to watch the band with a blinding light hitting your face.

Recently, The Mrs performed at SWXSW and they are positioning themselves for bigger things as they write and record new material and play live shows. In a recent interview, The Mrs even spoke about a dream collaboration with U2 frontman Bono. Based on that ambition, it seems the group seems to have more lofty and far reaching goals than ever hinted at this performance at the Peppermint Lounge. In the meantime, as they climb the Mount Olympus of rock, The Mrs should continue to focus on the basics to get them there sooner than later like honing and experimenting with their songwriting craft and developing a more captivating stage presence.

Set list

The Beast | Cravings | And the Band Plays On | Rip Tide | Ho Hey | This Is Not a Lullaby | Cleaning House | Enough | Love Runs Out | Somewhere to Go | Dare Me

Photos By: Lisa Lee

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