Album Reviews

The Miamis

We Deliver: The Lost Band Of The CBGB Era (1974 - 1979)

Artist:     The Miamis

Album:     We Deliver: The Lost Band Of The CBGB Era (1974 - 1979)

Label:     Omnivore

Release Date:     01/29/2016


They played fast and they played loud, but the last thing The Miamis were was punk.

In fact, their peppy, energetic tunes come off as Lemon Pledge, bringing a little polish and shine to the griminess that coated CBGBs in the late 1970s. A great and highly underrated antithesis to the “Please Kill Me” era, the band purposely made their songs uncomplicated so they could appeal to anybody. And from the sound of this breath of fresh musical air compilation, the quintet seems just as happy playing in a crowded bowling alley as they do on club stages.

But what’s important – and almost sad to realize – is how The Miamis, led by brothers James and Tommy Wynbrandt, seemingly influenced scores of groups that skirted the limelight with rich blends of bravado and power pop. From The Miamis, we easily get the Kings, Donnie Iris and the Cruisers, even the Romantics. The former could have easily written a hit as catchy as “What I Like About You,” but fate decided another band should hit the charts instead. Bummer.

The album’s first 10 songs should really comprise this collection – they are smartly produced and are hook-laden through and through (“Cry Baby,” “Dancin’ Together,” “Another Place, Another Time” are all great). “Fight Team Fight” alone sounds like an outtake from the recent live Grease production. While some of the live tracks are fun to listen to (i.e. “Elvis, Groucho & Bing”), this album would fare better if it eliminated the demo tracks and kept the track listing to its first half. Then it would truly feel like a new discovery. 

Still, for a band on the verge of resurgence, they aptly pound the point home in their song of the same name. They definitely know how to deliver.

-Ira Kantor

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