"Miss Derringer hail from the same Los Angeles that gave us wife-murdering western swing superstar Spade Cooley, noir detective Philip Marlowe, and Mulholland Drive, not to mention X, the Go-Go's, and the Paisley Underground. They've mined that weird local vein on two records and in the process became experts at synthesizing styles, throwing their many influences into every song to create a distinctive sound. Featuring an expanded band line-up, new single "Black Tears" is no different. Guitarists Slade Morgan and Lightnin' Bill Woodcock layer percussive punk strums over "Sleepwalkin'" bent notes, and Sylvain de Muizon and new drummer Cody James-- filling in for former Blondie drummer and Miss Derringer part-timer Clem Burke-- give the chorus its heady girl-group rush. But "Black Tears" is Liz McGrath's show, as always: with the poise of a theater diva, the presence of a method actress, and the voice of a vamp surfer girl, she projects real romantic confusion and heartbreak with every bittersweet syllable and every black tear."
Live Show Review
Miss Derringer at Asbury Lanes (New Jersey)
June 15th, 2007
"When Miss Derringer played Asbury Lanes, a bowling-alley-cum-bar in the
still-decrepit shore town of Asbury Park, I'm sure they didn't imagine that
people would actually be bowling during their set. But, being the good
sports that they are, they played an amazing set despite the occasional din
of some suburbanite's strike. The scene was like something out of a Tim
Burton-meets-John Hughes movie. The band looked like they should be playing
at some bizarro prom, or in the waiting room of purgatory in "Beetlejuice."
For a below-the-radar band, Miss Derringer have choreographed their look
with utter precision: Liz McGrath looks like a sad, sad marionette, clad in
a girlish dress with a crying horsey on it, eyeliner streaming down her
porcelain cheeks. The band echoes Ms. McGrath's surreal/melancholic
appearance by wearing black cowboy shirts and guitar straps emblazoned with
nooses, bottles of hooch, and of course, broken hearts.
From the first chord of their set, it was obvious that Miss Derringer's live
show would be every bit as excellent as their albums. Tapping the veins of
country, 60s pop, Westerns and gangster movies, Miss Derringer harnesses
these divergent influences and drenches them in blood, creating a superb
series of songs about love, loss, and booze; of untrue lovers, death by car
crash, and life on the run. Ms. McGrath's doll-like cuteness is balanced by
Lightnin' Bill Woodcock's slightly creepy Civil-War-zombie getup, and her
sugary vocals are foiled perfectly by the twangy guitars and marching-band
drums. Songs like "People Ain't No Good," "Heartbreak and Razorblades," and
"He Hung on a Sunday" are not only testament to the band's versatility, but
also their incredible musicianship. Everything about Miss Derringer's sound
was tight, professional, and mind-blowingly awesome, and unlike bands whose
pageantry seems vain and frivolous, the costumes and makeup only heightens
the atmosphere and never overshadows the quality of the music. Miss
Derringer will have you shaking your bottom as you reach for the razor."