The masses were once drawn to rock and roll because of its power, its purity, its sexiness and swagger. More recently, though, it seems such criteria is overshadowed by catchiness or production value. While those elements certainly aren’t unwelcome in themselves, the truly noteworthy rock bands of the modern era are those that combine all of these components in their sonic concoction, and Toronto-based rock outfit The Mohrs have done just that.
Taking on a tinge of heralded rock icons of years past – from AC/DC to Heart to The Pretenders – and combining it with the hard-hitting melodicism of modern masters like the Foo Fighters, The Mohrs deliver a unique take on anthemic, big-riff rock that’s simultaneously fresh and familiar. Tracks like “Better” and “Perfectly Sane” anchor Mohr’s impactful lyrics and soaring, intense singing with arena-ready riffs and a rock-solid rhythm section. It’s powerful, pure, sexy, and full of swagger.
The band – comprised of guitarist/vocalist Jackie Mohr, guitarist Marc Girardin, bassist Greg Markham, and drummer Max Trefler – was originally born as a songwriting project between Mohr and prolific Canadian performer, songwriter, and producer Hawksley Workman. Following a stint on the popular CBC program Cover Me Canada with her previous band, Living In Red, Workman recognized an intangible and intriguing quality in Mohr and invited her to his Northern Ontario studio to collaborate on a fresh collection of tracks. Highlights from that collection will comprise The Mohrs’ debut full-length release, expected to drop early 2015 via Light Organ Records.
“Playing guitar has always been an important part of what I do,” Mohr attests, and that’s clear on virtually any of the band’s offerings. Growing up in Winnipeg, she picked up the axe at age 13 and joined her first band shortly thereafter. Eventually, she started penning her own songs and in 2006 launched Living In Red which Girardin later joined. Though the group disbanded shortly after the Cover Me Canada stint, the core of Mohr and Girardin continued their collaboration.
“After the show, it became apparent to me that music was what I needed to do,” Mohr says assuredly. That’s when Workman came calling and essentially planted the seed that would sprout into The Mohrs. Markham and Trefler joined the fold soon after, and as Mohr asserts, “Finding them was a huge game changer.”
With their lineup solidified and debut LP set to hit shelves, The Mohrs are set to bombard unsuspecting audiences with their boisterous brand of radio-ready rock from the stereo or stage. Live, the band kicks into overdrive and makes sure to leave an impactful impression. “Getting out and playing shows whenever we can is really important to this band,” Mohr says. “We need to get out there and show people what it is we do.”
And the masses are already taking note. From Workman taking the group under his wing to invitations to perform alongside the likes of Danko Jones, Electric Six, Soundgarden, Big Wreck, Jane’s Addiction, EXTREME, K-OS, and Walk Off The Earth, industry heavyweights know what hoards of fans are soon to learn – that The Mohrs mean business.
“We’re bringing rock back,” Mohr states unapologetically. Yes, she realizes how lofty of a statement that is, but she also knows damn well The Mohrs boast all the power, purity, sexiness, and swagger to back it up.