Miss Crazy - S/T

Miss Crazy are a 4 piece based in San Francisco, although the main core of the band, vocalist Markus Allen Christopher and bassist Kim Racer, relocated from Canada. The band have recently been through almost as many line-up changes as Spinal Tap's drum seat but now finally seem to have a settled band in place. This is the re-issued debut album adding three new tracks to the original issue and giving the whole album a beefed-up sound that was lacking on it's first release.

The album starts with a slow chant, which builds in volume before "No Compromise" kicks things off in fine style. The first thing that stands out is Markus Allen Christopher's vocals, he has a very strong voice but it's a vocal style that won't appeal to all. His vocals would have slayed arenas in the mid to late 80's but it's a style that few bands are taking currently. That's not to say I dislike his voice, it fits the music perfectly and personally I think it's great, it's just not a vocal style heard recently. Next track is "Billie", a great track where you'd swear blind that Tom Keifer was on vocals. This marks out the main influences on the bands sound, any fans of Cinderella or Kix will lap this up. "Life's Been Good" continues with these influences, a great song that begs to be heard again and again. The Cinderella influence goes a little too far on "You're Blue", which sounds almost exactly like "Nobody's Fool" during the chorus, the problem with this is that you can't help thinking that Cinderella did it far better and want to skip past this track. Thankfully next track "Scream" races out from the speakers from the off with a great drum/bass intro leading into a killer bridge and chorus that'll have you screaming along instantly wishing you were hearing it at one of their gigs. This track alone makes me wanna see them live, if they can reproduce the energy in this track it'd be a show to remember. It's followed by my favourite track on the album "So Long". A simple but very effective riff repeats throughout but it just sounds fantastic, there's something about this song that makes you want to play it again instantly before continuing with the album. "Shut Eyes" has another moment of sounding like one of their peers, opening with a riff that's almost exactly the same as Kix's Cold Blood, a great tune though and not as annoying as the problems with "You're Blue". The bonus tracks show that the bands song writing has matured and got stronger since the album was first written and display some very good signs for the future, even if "My Way" has a suspiciously similar intro to "Now". Best of the new tracks is Tattooed Freak, which ends the album on a high point and leaves you smiling.

The band are shameless self publicists and the black and white face paint, although making them stand out from the crowd, could end up feeling gimmicky, but they have to be applauded for their DIY attitude. With no major label financial backing they seem to be constantly touring, writing and recording. Already in the short space of time since this re-issue, 3 new tracks have been made available on their website for download and the band have filmed a video for the track "My Way". It's this professionalism and dedication that marks them out from the many other bands around and I wouldn't be surprised to see them on a major label for their next album. Until that happens (and I firmly believe that it will happen) this is a great debut and with Cinderella on hold yet again this is an essential purchase to satisfy the appetite of all fans of Tom Keifer and the boys.

by John Baxter

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