Miss Derringer: Black Tears

"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."


1. Black Tears
2. Heartbreak & Razorblades