Friday, July 11, 2008

RevelationZ Review of Miss Crazy "II"

Describing a sound as an amalgam of seventies glam rock, North American sleaze bands and eighties pop metal maybe doesn't sound too promising. But San Francisco's Miss Crazy are much more than the sum of these parts.

When glam rock, teetering on its stacked heels, ran out of dreams and direction in the late seventies, it survived only by mutating into a glam/sleaze/metal hybrid, marketed with not a lot of success by a handful of US rock bands in the eighties.You can hear distant echoes of those bands - like Kix, Tuff, Bullet Boys - in the music of Miss Crazy.But it's the fact that the band take the best elements of each source - simple yet infuriatingly catchy riffs and melodies, an in-your-face attitude and a tendency to dramatic, almost theatrical choruses - that makes all the difference.

In turn, this elevates Miss Crazy from copycats to innovators, much stronger and much more confident on this, their second album.Sonically too, the band sounds much more self assured, again thanks to Ronnie Borchert's firm hand at the studio helm.

All that said, it's the songwriting that makes the real impression.The band has clearly accelerated up a very steep learning curve and written a bunch of classy, catchy, ballsy rock songs on the way up, peaking with several genuinely outstanding rock songs.Buried on the second half of the album 'I Know What I Know' and 'I'm In The Mood' take a basic, bass heavy riff on a hard driving ride round a set of sensual lyrics that earn the album its 'Parents Advisory.' sticker.

But it's the openers and the closers that do the damage.'Mow' and 'Living Without You' are the early talent. Each a hard'n'fast, rock'n'roll roller coaster with a melodic heart and a well crafted, neatly harmonised hook.Closing duo, the wiry, barbed 'Say You Will' and the atypical, almost Yes like 'My Shining Star' might just be the pick, though it's a close call.

Any melodic rock fan who likes his music fiery and subdued in turns, filled with good tunes, slick hooks and finely cut axework will find plenty to salivate over here.

Rating: 7.5/10
Written by Brian
Sunday, May 25, 2008

Metal Express Radio Review of Miss Crazy "II"

One of the best kept secrets in all of Hard Rock/Contemporary Glam Metal is a band hailing from California that goes by the name of MISS CRAZY. In 2006, the band unleashed their self-titled debut to the world; an album that by all accounts was perhaps the best Hard Rock/Glam Metal/Arena Rock album to hit the streets in the last 15 years. In fact, it really just doesn’t get any better than songs from that debut such as “Now,” “Scream,” “Billie,” and “Baby Let’s Go” for fans of Cinderella’s first 2 albums, Def Leppard’s first 3 albums, and Bon Scott-era AC/DC. Every song from that album shines with a simple, yet killer riff and chord pattern, very catchy lyrics, sing-along choruses that stick even after just 1 listen, and Markus Allen Christopher’s voice, which is about as close as anyone could ever get to Cinderella’s Tom Keifer. Yep, truly a gem of a release, and definitely one of those albums you hear and think, “There’s no way this band could ever knock out another album that could ever approach this level of quality again.”

Well, MISS CRAZY knew they had put together something special, and in 2007 released Can’t Get Enough, which was the combination of the entire Miss Crazy debut, along with 3 additional tracks: “Can’t Get Enough,” “My Life Is Over,” and “All For You” … songs again that largely met the same quality standards as those found on their debut, with perhaps “Can’t Get Enough” leaning a bit more towards something that Cheap Trick would have released around the time of Dream Police. Still, though … more high quality tracks, showing the band’s debut release was far from a fluke.
The band toured and toured in support of their Miss Crazy release, and eventually the stunning Kim Racer, bassist, secondary songwriter, and girlfriend to Markus Allen Christopher, packed up and left for undisclosed reasons. Never fear, however, as the band quickly found Kim’s replacement in the also-stunning Brandi Lee, and before hardly anyone was the wiser, Miss Crazy was back in the studio to attempt to match (or exceed?) the successes present in their debut release.

Miss Crazy had plenty of radio-friendly aspects to it … it’s a “heavy” album, but with all of the catchy hooks and choruses, it had “hit machine” written all over it. II, as you’ll quickly find, has a VERY different personality surrounding it. II is much more aggressive musically (if not angry at times), and the lyrics are chock full of relational strife, angst, and feelings of despair resulting from love gone bad. Since Markus Allen Christopher writes the lyrics, one can only assume the lyrics are a direct pipeline into his heart and are an outlet for his pain associated with the departure of/break-up with Kim Racer. The “love hurts” pervasive theme is really the only “weakness” within II … lyrically each song stands strong on its own, but when about 10 of 13 full length tracks deal with the “dark side” of “love,” a tinge of depression can indeed set in if you let it.

However, lyrical redundancy is truly the ONLY jab that can be taken at II. The album starts out similarly to Miss Crazy with an “Oh We Oh” intro chant similar to what you’d hear from the Wicked Witch Of The West’s soldiers in the Wizard Of Oz, then kicks into gear with a short, aggressive track called “Mow,” which really sets the tone for II. It’s a to the point, hard-hitting, no-nonsense song, and in just a few seconds it’ll have you sitting up straight in your chair, taking notice. After “Mow,” it just seems Miss Crazy keeps building and building and building … more energy, more catchy hooks, more memorable verses and choruses … with such a different attitude and personality than their debut … but certainly no less enjoyable. In fact, from several angles, Miss Crazy may have indeed accomplished the impossible – that being making a sophomore record that rivals or perhaps even beats their debut release! Yep, II really does has everything within its 14 tracks that fans of early Cinderella, Def Leppard, and Kix would ever want, and, to boot, Miss Crazy even manages before this album is over to separate themselves from the pack a bit, and to create their “own sound,” if you will.

Except for the intro, “Left Me Here To Die,” and “My Shining Star” (which has a Blind Melon “No Rain” feel to it), all of the tracks are mid to up-tempo songs with some “kick” to them, and although all of them are at least very good, “Livin’ Without You,” “I Know What I Know,” and “I’m In The Mood” are simply outstanding tracks that you owe to yourself to check out. Each track, except for “The River,” clocks in at less than 3 and half minutes, so basically Miss Crazy’s philosophy is to establish a power chord pattern and melody that feels good … stick with it for a while … and then get out of it and move on to the next song before anything has the chance to get stale or to become overused. Kudos definitely go to the band for driving home that philosophy to perfection.

Miss Crazy’s II is in the end a very enjoyable and easy to listen to album that will grab your attention on the first listen … and then still grow on you over time as any great album does. Go to the Miss Crazy Web site to check out a few tracks and to learn more about this true Shining Star of a band whose hunger and passion for their craft will undoubtedly pay dividends down the road. Review of Miss Crazy "II"

As faithful readers and rock aficionados know, there has been a revival of the 80's glam/sleaze/melodic rock and metal around the world. Scandinavian bands have bolstered this long absent genre in the last five years (or more). England has also contributed to this trend with such bands aa the Towers Of London. Here in America, the movement has been a little slower to arise. Yet, the trend is growing. San Francisco's Miss Crazy is one band that is proudly displaying and playing well this great style. This foursome unabashedly looks to the past and draws inspiration from the likes of Alice Cooper, David Bowie, Kiss in presence and Def Leppard, AC/DC, Kix, Cinderella, Poison, and Motley Crue in in musical style. Their second release, simply titled 'II,' draws deeply from this historical well.
Immediately, you will notice the vocals of guitarist Markus Allen Christopher. His raspy voice reminds you of a blend of Vince Neil and Bret Michaels. How he can maintain this delivery from song to song, or from gig to gig may give you significant consternation. Yet, his vocals are strong and fitting for Miss Crazy' formidable rock and roll style. And this is what impressed me most about Miss Crazy: drawing from the classics, their song craftsmanship shows fluency and inspiration.

Now for the songs: I'll give you a simple direction: follow the even numbers. This may sound odd (a pun intended), but the highlights of 'II' follow this route. For instance, 'Mow' is a brilliant melodic number that verges on metal. 'Living' Without You' delivers a catchy melody within straight rock. 'Make You Mine' is a rough and ready number that reminds you of Motley Crue. This is not to say that the other songs are mundane or mediocre. 'The River' is a perfectly heavy number that still inspires. 'Don't Walk Away' and 'Left Me Here To Die' are the closest songs to ballads; the former is smooth, the latter has a harder groove. The best work begins about track eight because of the exceptional lead guitar work. 'Can't Sleep' is a full throttle rock and roll number with a great vocal arrangement and a driving rhythm section.

There is much to enjoy on Miss Crazy's 'II.' I was very impressed and pleased from beginning to end. Miss Crazy certainly knows their history and their own style; they play with sincerity and passion. Very recommended! Find it and buy it!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Melodic Rock Review of Miss Crazy "II"

Review by Andrew McNeice

Produced by Ronnie Borchert and engineered by Johnny Lima, mixed by both fellows…you can just about guarantee that this album will both kick ass and appeal to many readers of this site. And it sure does….in both cases. US sleaze rockers Miss Crazy have delivered an album that out-sleazes most of their competition and finally takes competition from the genre born and bred in the USA, back to the Scandinavians who have been doing a better job of it in recent years.

Miss Crazy are as Californian as Motley Crue and LA Guns, as sleazy as Faster Pussycat and Pretty Boy Floyd and deliver their songs with all the energy and dedication of Cinderella. The rasp of vocalist Markus Allen Christopher take me back to the last 80s and the LA sleaze scene, dominated by Motley Crue, Faster Pussycat and LA Guns. Each note of this album does the same.

This is prime time sleaze and is well recorded and produced to deliver an in your face approach and the best out of these songs.Highlights include the moody intensity of The River; the free flowing rock of How Long Now; the commercial hard rock of How; the manic grind of Can't Sleep and the cool melodic bliss of I'm In The Mood. The album pulls back the intensity for one brief track – the closing pop ballad My Shining Star.

4 songs in 41 minutes showcases that there is no padding here or on any song. It's get to the point and then back to the grind.

If the aforementioned bands appeal – then this will no disappoint. The gruff vocal style is not for everyone, but like I said if faster Pussycat appeals, then you already know the style. A winner for sleaze fans, no doubt.

Metal Monthly Interview with Chris Jordan

METAL MONTHLY: So how are ya, Chris?

CHRIS JORDAN: I’m great, how about yourself?

MM: It’s good to hear the real you!

CJ: Yeah, we can both put a face to the MYSPACE page, huh! I’m thrilled to be talkin to ya.

MM: Sorry to make you work on your day off, Chris….

CJ: Oh, that’s okay. For you, no problem.

MM: Aww, thank you, Chris, I really appreciate that! You actually started recording the new MISS CRAZY (MC) CD 2 days ago, but let’s back up for a minute. Please fill us in on the week prior, of “pre-production”:

CJ: Well, um, I flew in last Sunday and basically, brought a few knick-knacks and favorite pieces of equipment…nothing too big; there was a kit waiting here for me. With just sticks and practice pads, we got right to work in Markus’ room. Some areas were left vague, for when we go into the studio. A lot of it is just by feeling, but I think some of the best stuff is made like that.

MM: …Hmm, sounds very intuitive:

CJ: Yes. There’s a real chemistry there. He (Markus) and I are from the same school; we speak the same language. It wasn’t too hard at all to figure out what to do.

MM: So what is the goal of the new era, “MISS CRAZY II”?

CJ: We want to make “Can’t Get Enough” -- on steroids! I mean, especially…you know, I’m walking into something with a set formula. We’re just gonna do it even better this time.

MM: Do you feel like you’re pushing yourselves as artists?

CJ: Oh yeah! We’re taking it to the next level, another few notches up. We’ll keep trying to out-do the last thing; keep trying to out-do ourselves.

MM: It sounds like you and Markus hit it off with a good personal, and professional, chemistry then?

CJ: That’s right. I think it’s gonna be a very successful partnership. I’m excited!

MM: So, what’s the story behind how you and Markus/MC hooked up?

CJ: Here we go! Hope ya got a little time on your hands!….Well, it was this past summer at a music festival in Seattle, called HEMPFEST. I had reunited with my former band so that we could play on the first day of that event. During the other days, I was just walking around, checking out the different acts. That’s when I saw MC perform…and of course, they were awesome! I also got a look at their backstage workings, and liked what they were doing.…It was definitely a case of being at the right place at the right time! At that point they were aware of my interest and availability, and I was aware of them. When I got back to Austin, I sent them a message through MYSPACE complimenting them on a great gig.
I had already left my former band mates, and moved to Austin, only 6 months before that. I was kinda putting myself out there already; looking for studio work, touring….It’s kind of ironic to think that if I hadn’t teamed up with my former band to play at HF, I probably wouldn’t be in MC right now….It’s like, well, like fate.

MM: Maybe even “destiny”?

CJ: That’s no joke. A lot of people talk about that like it never happens. It seemed so meant to be that we had to look into it further. So far, it’s like we’ve known each other for a very long time.

MM: This seems like it might be a long-term gig for you, Chris?

CJ: Yeah. At this early stage, with everything looking the way that it does, it gets even more exciting as to how it’s gonna be a year from now…2, 3, or 4 years down the line, even. It’s pretty amazing!

MM: Sounds like it! Knowing that you’ve had to hit the ground running, I was also wondering if you’ve even had the chance to meet the other new members?

CJ: Up here, in San Jose for recording, will be the first time. I’ve had my head buried in studio work, but on January 18th, we’ll have our first photo shoot together. At that point, we’ll have a chance to spend some real quality time, getting to know each other. I’ve talked to all of them on the phone, and everyone’s been great. Everyone’s on the same page, and in it for the right reasons; there are no false pretenses about coming on-board. We’ve got people who really want to be a part of this new era called, “MISS CRAZY II”.

MM: Okay, let’s go back for a moment; we’ve heard how you joined MC; but, what do you know about Brandi Lee’s (bassist) back-story?

CJ: Through a mutual friend and the powers of MYSPACE, Brandi and I started talking. It went well so, I spoke to Markus, and turned it over to him. Brandi flew out for them to meet, and they clicked real well; Markus was very happy with her….It’s been a unique process of how all of these outside people have come together to form the new band; most people don’t work that way. But you know, this is a real coming together of people who all want the same thing.

MM: Sometimes it’s not easy facing such loyal fans as a new member, is it?

CJ: Yeah, there’s a lot to prove. This band has gotten a lot of people really excited. I’m sure that everyone’s expectations are high.

MM: As of January 13th, has it only been you and Markus in the studio?

CJ: Yes, so far. We’ve just been laying down the drum tracks, the foundation. Everyone else will come in at their separately scheduled times to sprinkle their magic on top…and do what they do best.

MM: Is that the typical order for MC’s studio recording?

CJ: Yes, we do drums first, then bass, then guitar; the rest is cake.

MM: In terms of pulling out all the stops, didn’t you promise some double-bass drumming on the new cd?

CJ: Oh, gosh yes!! Yes, yes! There’s lots of that stuff; everything that is Rock. Lots of double-kick; big choruses; big anthemic, put-your-fist-in-the-air, scream-and-shout, Rock; it’s everything; it’s big arena rock; everything we grew up on and loved; and, it’s gonna be all wrapped up in a pretty little gift with a bow on it!!! You’re gonna get all of that. Nobody’s gonna say, ’oh I wish they woulda’…we’re covering all the bases.

MM: So Chris, it sounds like your buddy Markus might be a perfectionist? Ha!

CJ: Yeah, definitely. But, that’s the way you gotta be. I’m never completely satisfied. I always think you can do better. But then, there’s also a certain point where you gotta know when to let go and just say…it is what it is. You can try to capture it as perfect as can be, but there’s also a lot of “feel” involved. You could be perfect, and still not get it across to the audience. --Ask anyone who’s done recording, it can be tedious….

MM: Oh that Markus, I bet he can be a slave-driver, huh Chris? Haha!

CJ: Yeah, it’s a drive. There’s definitely a drive there. You don’t want to settle for second best. This is probably one of the reasons why we work so well together. When I saw them perform back in August, I was on the lookout for someone who can be a true leader, a great lyricist, a great front person…and I saw that in Markus. One person is the motor and the other is the captain, who steers; and one needs the other. And you know, he’s working great with me. It comes with maturity; we both need each other to play for the song; we both put ego in the backseat, and then, we do whatever makes the song its best.

MM: Also in terms of leadership, did Markus being a couple years younger than yourself ever concern you?

CJ: No, not at all; it’s only a couple years…plus, we come from the same school; we both came up from the trenches of club bands, and learned a lot from those years.

MM: Would you say that Markus wears a lot of different hats for MC; that he is multi-talented?

CJ: He sure is, and I love that! He’s a very talented cat. I love it! That’s what I was looking for, and what you need in a leader.

MM: So, the-drummer-Chris, tell me what other tricks you’ve got in your bag?

CJ: Well, as they pertain to music, haha!!!….I’ve got a lot of tricks in my bag! I really try to get inside of the songwriter’s head, almost like ESP. I wanna see where they’re goin with it; how they’re actually feeling. I wanna know what a song means; knowing the story that’s being told is very important to me. That’s where the arrangements and the beats come from…it’s like finding a heartbeat. As the mood changes throughout a song, I play accordingly. I deliver the mood; that’s where I fit in.

MM: Would you compare the experience, at all, to tapping into something at a higher level; almost like songwriting as “channeling”?

CJ: Yeah…that’s a pretty deep concept…you could definitely say that.

MM: So we got the scoop on Brandi earlier…who, by the way, was kind enough to submit a special question for your interview! Brandi would like to know: Who is your favorite bass player? BESIDES HER, Chris! No brown-nosing allowed here, sorry, haha….

CJ: Oh, okay! Yeah, well!! She’s kinda quirky; she's really funny! Brandi’s a lot of fun!….Okay. So I dig as my favorite bass player, Bob Daisley from the old Ozzy stuff; he is just amazing, the way he plays….But in terms of showmanship, I’d have to say, Nikki Sixx. What he does is simple, but very effective; he has the big picture in mind, and sticks to it.

MM: Some are saying that the “Heroin Diaries” soundtrack is the best performance of Nikki Sixx‘s career; would you agree, then?

CJ: Actually, I think it was on the Motley Crue album with John Corabi. That’s where Nikki really broke out of his shell. It was dismissed because it lacked the original line-up, but if you take a listen back….I think that’s where Nikki’s doing his best, strongest playing.

MM: Do you wear your make-up around the house?

CJ: (*BIG LAUGH*)…Only if they want me to! I do take requests, I do take requests!!!

MM: Be honest, though, is it actually comfortable to wear, non-irritating, and such?

CJ: It’s like a second skin. I don’t think I even look that different, just paler! It’s an extension of our personalities…and there were no rules about how it had to look; each member feels it out for themselves; each person comes up with their own unique look…you can see that’s been the case with past members too.

MM: What about falling asleep with it on; has that ever happened?

CJ: No, but it is easy to forget it’s on and then all of a sudden, you’re wondering why there’s white stuff all over….I did forget to take it off before getting in the shower once, does that count! What a mess….Maybe I’ll forget it’s on someday and go walk the dog or something!!! They have such a big opinion of me already; I’m like the Edward Scissorhands of our neighborhood….the make-up would cap it all off!

MM: Well, you must be doing something right! Thank you so much for this interview. Please enjoy the rest of your afternoon off!

Miss Crazy II CD Review By Brett Sites

I'd been anticipating this CD ever since I heard all the tracks from the last CD. I'd also been fortunate enough to hear some of the riffs and ideas Markus was working on this so I couldn't wait. Here's my track by track review.

II - I love artists that hearken back to their previous work as they let you know they are building on the past, not forsaking it. This keyboard and vocal intro sets the mood!

Mow - There are those fortunate enough to know this term of affection and what it means to Markus. This song come kicking and screaming out of the gate to kick this CD into high gear. Markus' guitar work has always been tight and rhythmic and very accurate. I love the guitar riff and the dynamic changes he adds to this song. It's a great rocker with heart as he questions "Do you still believe?" We do, Markus.

The River - The pace is more mid-tempo on this rocker. It's so heavy while marching in time. Markus' use of his lower register makes for great dynamics and when the band joins in to harmonize, it gives the melody added kick. The drumming on this song is very reminiscent of something I remember from hearing Chris' audition package last summer. This guy hits like a sledge hammer! There is so much power in some of the simplicity of the groove. It takes a powerful drummer to pull that off. Brandi and Chris are instrumental in making this song groove. The tempo is slower and they never let it feel like it is plodding along. They play crisply and sharply together. This song truly shows this was recorded by a band.

Livin' Without You - I didn't expect that keyboard at the very beginning, but love how it gives you a beat to prepare for a razor sharp attack on guitar. Markus' keeps all of his songs catchy and interesting. The guitar break on this isn't really a solo so much as a great rhythm break that adds some melody to what is going on in the background. The harmonies are Def Leppard huge as always. The rhythm section of Brandi and Chris are tight and crisp here as well as everywhere else. I can't wait to see this one live!

Don't Walk Away - Markus has that Tom Keifer sound down pat here! His voice sounds even stronger here than on the last CD. If anything, he seems to have added some more melodic touches in his range that add a lot of emotion. This song bleeds emotion. "I wish you were here..."

How Long Now? - This is currently my favorite track on the CD. I remember Markus, Kim, and Kip in my basement working on this. As Markus played the guitar for the others, the comments flowed that it sounded like it needed multiple time signatures. Just like Van Halen's Finish What Ya Started, sometimes you just have to lay down the 4/4 and let Markus command the stage. I am so glad to hear how this turned out. It shows what a rhythmic genius Markus truly is. The song is fast, relentless and forces you to answer his question. The lead is trademark Markus squeals just like the girls do when he plays live. When the song ends abruptly, you really want more!

When It's Over - This song has a classic Def Leppard feel. Remember when the electric guitar helped propel the rhythm under the catchy melodies? These days too many bands use acoustic guitars and simple strumming. The guitar work here makes way for some great double bass and reminds the listener of the days when musicians played in bands. The harmonies are big and tight.

Make You Mine - When I first heard this song in rough mix through M!SS CRAZY's My Space site, I thought it might sound like a cluster with the guitar and drum tracks racing along. The melody and huge vocal chorus let me know this was a great song in the rough. I'm glad to say that the final mix really defines the rhythm very well. Yes, the instruments are racing along, but they are in a tight precision and still make you wonder which one is going to get to the finish line first. The rhythms propel this song forward from start to finish. The build on the chorus almost relinquishes in orgasm as the vocals all chime in on "mine". This is a "top-turned-down-racing-on-the-highway" track.

Left Me Here To Die - When M!SS CRAZY slows things down a bit, the power and range of this band really shine through. Brandi's melodic bass line underscores a brilliant melody as Markus emotes from the heart. The guitar solo isn't a flashy flurry of notes, but a passionate crying out in confusion over being left alone.

Can't Sleep - The AM style intro of rhythm guitar gets you excited so that when the band cranks it up together you are ready to rock! This is a fist pumping song, fast and furious. "I'm getting loose..." While the rhythms demand tight musicianship, it's a real player that can make this teeter close to the edge with a loose feeling. Brandi's accents propel the beat and dynamics. Chris' drums provide the upbeat groove. While it feels like a 4 on the floor song, there are rhythmic parts that require more punch along the ride. I love driving on the highway with this one going, too! I just have to check my speed on occasion.

I Know What I Know - "I got a feelin' for ya." Yes, Markus let's us know that the past isn't gone, but we have moved into the present with honest progression. The drums provide a real swing under the rhythm and bass. Chris has a very huge sound and he parlays it brilliantly here. Markus shows his power and aggression in his vocals here. As he did live last summer, he takes the occasional note and bends it upward for more passion. The gang vocals and harmonies are again huge on this song. I love how Brandi's voice seems to be heard among the guys. I can see her in my mind just strutting across the stage on this one as Markus is laying it down.

I'm In The Mood - "You got the lotion..." I think I remember hearing someone talking about words that sounded like motion... I love that line, though! The lyrics are brilliantly sexual in this one. Think about it. "I know you see it every sunrise..." Are we talking morning wood? It's almost deceptive as you get swept away in the melody and catchiness of this song. The guitar solo really stands out on this one to me. As with the others, the rhythms are tight and there is a real different drum feel for these tracks as compared with the last CD. It's all about the feel. Of course, it will put you in the mood.

Say You Will - BIG VOCAL INTRO! I love accapella vocals that kick off songs. Markus really gets the melody rolling on the voice and you can just picture him on the edge about to teeter over. The melody and lyrics truly match up here as you can see Markus telling someone that they are on the edge and they better not blow it. Of course, he won't take your...

My Shining Star - I did a double take the first time I heard this track on the CD. I thought that another CD got put in while I wasn't paying attention. Markus pulls out a very catchy melodic track here, but not in the typical M!SS CRAZY vein. This one puts his voice into more of a softer falsetto territory. The guitar work is more of a clean sound than the rock distortion M!SS CRAZY is more known for. The rhythm and lead both have a clean sound. The drums are crisp, the bass is melodic and punchy. You will find yourself singing along and then have to stop and realize as I did that M!SS CRAZY is showing you some real range.

This CD is rich, full, and produced brilliantly by Ronnie Borchert once again. I think it's his best production, yet. The songs average a 3 minute run time and grip you from start to finish. The tracks are listed in such a way that you get some real dynamics here as opposed to a brutal beating from start to finish. This is truly a great second CD from M!SS CRAZY and a natural progression that takes everyone along for the ride. M!SS CRAZY has it down pat! I can't wait to hear more!

Speaking of more...

M!SS CRAZY just put up a free download of their cover of Def Leppard's Tear It Down. Of all the Hysteria B-Sides, this was my favorite. I love this song and I'm glad Markus chose it to cover. Absolutely brilliant! M!SS CRAZY makes this sound like one of their own while paying respect and tribute to one of the best. It's also good to see that M!SS CRAZY is still recording as they prepare for their 2008 tour!

As with the last CD, this one is highly recommended. There aren't many CD's I'd put in full on an iPod, but anything by M!SS CRAZY gets play! Now go get yours at and if you haven't got the first one, get it, too!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Hard Rock Haven Review of Miss Crazy "II"

Reviewed by: Derric Miller

There's the adage going something like, "Motivation gets you going; determination is what keeps you going." If there's a band out there today more motivated AND determined than Miss Crazy, it'd be fun to hear them. But since there isn't, you'll have to pick up the new Miss Crazy CD titled II and hear what sonic determination truly sounds like.

Miss Crazy, basically out of nowhere, broke into the music scene with their Def Leppard/AC/DC inspired debut self-titled release in 2006. The songs were immense, hooky, polished and powerful, landing the CD in many critics' views as a Top 10 favorite release for 2006. The band toured relentlessly around the U.S., from West Coast to East Coast and back again, for almost two years. Unfortunately, like many bands, they experienced frequent roster changes, none more telling or painful than original bassist and band namesake, Kim Racer, who has since been replaced by Brandi Lee. Racer helped draw the crowds and fans, with her quasi-innocence, glaring likability, alluring persona and flat-out talent on the bass. When it's all said and done, though, lead singer/guitarist/main songwriter Markus Allen Christopher is the mind behind and the voice in front of Miss Crazy, and as long as he carries on, so shall Miss Crazy.

Their new CD begins somewhat like their debut, with an "oh-wee-oh-wee-oh" chant reminiscent of gnomes working together, except on II, the pace is slowed way down. This leads into "Mow," and oddly titled and heavy as hell track. The title, rhyming with the word "now," is hectic and passionate, and is about broken friendships or love. Christopher's voice is original, sort of like Tom Kiefer and Brian Johnson at times, except overflowing with melody at every turn. It's a killer way to begin II.

Somewhat surprisingly, the next track, "The River," hears Christopher take down his raging delivery and sing cleanly on the opening lines of the song, and instead of breakneck fury, "The River" glides on a swampy grind. It's dirtier and more sullen than most Miss Crazy tracks you'll hear, showing you they are capable of writing any type of song they so desire. New guitarist Eric Bouche churns out a doomy solo, perfect for the composition's vibe.

"Livin' Without You" is the kind of song they do best, with soaring, addictive guitar riffs and ripe, sing-a-long choruses. Christopher does most of the main guitar tracks as well as vocals, and he has a grasp on what made bands like Def Leppard, Aerosmith and AC/DC last decades and beyond from a guitar perspective.

On "Don't Walk Away," the band offers up an acoustic-led ballad, a major "Hair Ballad" if there's been one in the past 10-20 years. It's engaging and soulful, with Christopher emitting a realistic sense of loss in lines like, "You've gone away … I wish you were here … here!" He also flaunts his range. How he's able to sing like this and not blow out his vocal chords is one of the mysteries and draws of the band.

The one constant on II is that Miss Crazy made the decision to get heavier. You can't deny it, especially on songs like "Make You Mine." The chorus is heated and stalker-ish, with the passage, "I want you, I told you, wanna make you mine! I see you, I feel you, wanna make you mine!" Bouche's solo tears the song into an even darker dimension, while Christopher's riffs plow through everything in its path. Definitely one of their most untamed recordings.

"Here to Die" takes you on another bleak, emotional ride, with the repetitive, "You left me, here to die … you left me, alone to cry," keeping things sorrowful. This track, unlike most of them, harkens back to the '80s, a slower, power-chord semi-ballad anthem.

Like their debut, you won't be skipping any tracks. The talent level between Miss Crazy and the other bands playing this type of music today is severe. Even from a production and engineering level, with the prolific Ronnie Borchert handling the first aspect underrated singer/songwriter Johnny Lima the latter task, everything shines.

Although it's early in 2008, this is a clear nominee for Album of the Year, and sets the bar high for those planning to compete as the year sails on. Those respective bands better bring the same level of motivation and determination, or they'll all be found wanting when compared to Miss Crazy.