Miss Derringer – Winter Hill

  • Bobby Gorman posted
  • Reviews

Miss Derringer

Winter Hill - Nickel and Dime Records / Triple X Records

A hollow, psychobilly bass line matched with a steady drum beat opens up Miss Derringer‘s Winter Hill. A few seconds in, Liz McGrath’s erie, echoey vocals enter with “Click Click. Bang Bang and you’re never gonna be the same. Click Click Bang Bang and your heart starts bearing like the pouring rain.” It’s an opening song that comes out of nowhere and knocks the listener off their feet. This is not what I was expecting – not that I really knew what to expect but I definitely wasn’t expecting another female fronted psychobilly band like The Horrorpops or The Creepshow; but that’s what I got.

However, Miss Derringer aren’t quite as rooted in rockabilly tunes as some of their contemporaries and instead go for a slightly poppier delivery at times; going so far as sounding like a punkier version of The Sounds on occasion. The signature bass-structure of a psychobilly song is only evident in a select few tracks, like the aforementioned Click Click (Bang Bang) or the dual vocal, Matadors/Tiger Army-esque All The Pretty Things, which comes off as slightly disappointing during the first run through of the record. But on repeated listens that disappointment disappears as the initial hope of a full psychobilly rocking fades and you become more accustomed to the slower delivery, like a less frenzied Vincent Black Shadow.

McGrath’s vocals are strong throughout, showing a powerful control that reaches through the speaker and connects with the listen. Slightly mesmerizing, her vocals are the mixture of Gwen Stefani, Debbie Harry and Patricia Day working together to weave out lyrics of despair, death and hopelessness. Vividly dark imagery depicting tales of lost love are present in nearly every song and can be quite impressive.

The record stands out more when they inject some momentum and energy into the song. They don’t necessarily need to be blistering fast, but there are tracks that come off lacking something, missing a certain hook or beat. Heartbreak & Razorblades and Mausoleum are the biggest culprits of this as they come by too slowly and disrupt the flow and momentum of the record and with the later ending off the album, Winter Hill does end on a slightly sour note.

Luckily for us though, Miss Derringer more than makes up for it on Bulletproof Heart, Black Tears, Don’t Leave Me Now and the insanely catchy Death By Desire; all of which work together to make an eerie, fun, and memorable album of pshycobilly-pop.