We Deliver (The Lost CBGB’s Band)
Danceable Pop-Punk with Attitude and a Smile.
Certainly on this side of the Atlantic; and I’m pretty sure outside of the clique who frequented CBGB’s between 1974 and 79 The Miamis don’t mean a thing.
But with this fabulous collection of All-American Power Pop should put that to rights.
The album opens with the title track, We Deliver and my toes were tapping within 30 seconds of the opening chords. Sounding mid-way between The Rubinoos, Cheap Trick and The Knack; I could instantly hear why they still have a devoted fan base 25 years after they disbanded.
Track three, I Want a Girlfriend with it’s nod to Judy in Disguise (with diamonds) was probably recorded at the wrong time; although I can think of a couple of similar sounding Surftastic songs in the UK charts about this time; so I guess the Miamis were being promoted in entirely the wrong direction – cos, snarling Punks they ain’t.
As a one time lover of Nuggets era Garage Pop; I love the chunky beat on Another Place, Another Time and the demo of She Sure Works Hard (at Lovin’ Me) both minor Ameri-pop gems.
Wang It! Is Garage Music at its finest; with some really neat piano playing and fuzzy guitar fighting a slightly wacky song; that quickly became an ‘ear worm’ as I drove down the motorway.
That 60’s Garage Sound threads through a few other songs; especially Fight, Team Fight! and Dancing Together.
The second half of the 23 tracks is made up from Demos, alternate takes (check out the ‘dreamy’ alternate I Want a Girlfriend, especially) and a bunch of Live tracks from CBGB’s itself.
These live songs show where the Miamis were at there best. While their peers the Ramones, Blondie, Willie Nile et al were cranking the speakers up to 11 and screeching their lungs out; these kids actually had tunes, choruses and songs with hooks – Dancing Together, Wang It! and Détente (That’s what I want) are all intelligent but eminently danceable songs. What’s not to like?
Plus, when listen to Dada Mama to hear the missing link between Power Pop and Punk.
The album closes with a real oddity; their take on Sinatra’s That’s Life; done in just left of straight Rock & Roll style that must have been a blast to witness.
But; and it’s a very big but….my favourite song here is Elvis, Groucho and Bing; which is straight out of downtown Weirdsville USA; and could have been a template for Devo and the Modern Lovers and a host of others, if they’d ever heard it.
Who knows what will happen with this album; it’s been a joy to listen to but as none of the band members appear to have gone onto greater things; it will sadly be destined to be another closed chapter in the band’s history.
Released 29th January 2016