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Makin Waves Album of the Month: "Little Miss Lost" by The Cynz


By Bob Makin

originally published: 05/15/2024

Makin Waves Album of the Month: "Little Miss Lost" by The Cynz

PHOTO BY JOANNE & RENE MONCADA

Well, here’s a marriage made in rock ‘n’ roll heaven: veteran New Brunswick rockers The Cynz have released their label debut LP for longtime Central Jersey-based Jem Records. Both have been around a while, but “Little Miss Lost” marks their first time working together.

Framed by the songwriting talents of band co-founders Cyndi Dawson and Henry Seiz, The Cynz’s strongest material ever follows four LPs, an EP and several singles since 2012. Gutsy, yet vulnerable, the introspectively insightful album tells semi-autobiographical tales about finding a way in life. The moving 11-song CD is based on Cyndi’s young adulthood when she was on her own, trying to stay safe in rather risky environments. At the age of 17, she started acting, dancing and modeling in NYC, all during a confusing, complicated time. Writing about the past provided a chance to purge, yet with a sensitivity that is surprising for a rocking band who channel Distillers, Joan Jett, Patti Smith, and X.

“Crow Haired Boys” opens the collection with a tale about when Cyndi and her then-boyfriend would frequent NYC clubs, such as Danceteria and the Palladium, celebrating their cocaine-filled lives and days that would end with lights too bright.  Perhaps at her most vulnerable, The Cynz’s Barbara Eden-lookalike front woman expresses “You Would Not Miss Me,” a scathing breakup song.

The energetic title track comes next with crunchy and snaky guitars and harmony vocals by Henry. The forlornly nostalgic “When We Were in Love” is followed by two fun covers: Holly Beth Vincent’s “Tell That Girl to Shut Up” and The Le MM Smithereens’ “Room without a View.” The latter features a warmly familiar solo by co-founding Smithereens guitarist Jim Babjak.

The power-poppin’ hope of “Just a Boy,” the Asian-spiced “The Only One,” the jangly-sounding sexual politics of “Break Me,” and the garage-rockin’ Pretenders-meet-The Who-like fancy of “Narrow Hips” lead to the closing blast of “Fall Away,” a cocky chronicle of a liberating breakup featuring layers of guitar gusto by Henry.



 
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Like most Jem records, the album was recorded at The House of Vibes in Highland Park with owner/label mate Kurt Reil of The Grip Weeds producing most of it. Split Squad bassist Michael Giblin produced “Narrow Hips” and co-produced “Room Without a View” to both of which, he added backing vocals. The band — also bassist Dave U. Hall and drummer Mike Wretched — produced “Tell That Girl to Shut Up.”

While “Little Miss Lost” is great, The Cynz’s tsunami-like live show should not be missed. Experience The Cynz May 18 at Drew’s in Ringwood with The Vibeke Augestad Band and May 19 at a Joey Ramone birthday tribute at Bowery Electric in New York City with Richie Ramone, Sic F*cks, Steve Conte, Jiro, The Gobshites, and Hyperdolls.

Then The Cynz will play May 25 at Crossroads in Garwood, where they’ll celebrate the release of Jem Records’ Jagger & Richards tribute LP with compilation/label mates The Midnight Callers and The Anderson Council. The Cynz contributed “Star Star” to the comp also features The Weeklings, The Grip Weeds, Nick Piunti, Paul Collins, Jonathan Pushkar, The Gold Needles, The Airport 77s, and The High Frequencies. Vinyl and CD copies will be for sale.

For more about The Cynz, visit their Facebook page. Jem Records can be explored at jemrecordings.com.

Bob Makin has produced Makin Waves since 1988. Follow Makin Waves on Facebook and contact Bob at makinwaves64@yahoo.com.



 
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