Suzy Creamcheese could easily have fallen into the trap of focusing on their female lead singer as eye candy and letting image triumph over quality music. They have managed to avoid doing this and just focus on crafting brilliant rock tunes instead. In an age when image and marketing nearly always take priority over substance this band should be cherished. Led by front lady Kimona 117’s incredible voice and commanding stage presence, Suzy Creamcheese thrived on the South Beach music scene during the 90’s. On the band’s 8 track album “NEUROTIC”, Kimona 117 delivers with powerhouse vocals and shows off the range she can do. This album probably is something that the casual music fan would expect to sound more dated these days. I don’t necessarily think so and if it’s ‘of its time,’ then it is so in a very good way indeed. This alternative rock stuff is done with balance and pretty much everything that made, and makes the genre work.
Relentless in her emotion, Kimona 117 is a true powerhouse. Her delivery on the opener ‘Time’ is a blend of buoyant bliss, but it gets even more raucous on “All Thumbs”. We get blend of guitar crunch and automaton thump, and the fondness for epic textures and sudden bursts of noise, together with the combination of emotion and sass in the vocals. The hard hitting slow burner “Forget me Not” drags all of these elements into its arrangement and then lets the spirited vocals deliver the knockout blow straight to the temple.
The upbeat “Neurotic” kicks in and proceeds with a sense of manic abandon that the title describes, before extra emphasis is placed on the melody of “Put Me Down”, the band put such a premium on catchiness that barely a verse goes by without a hook or two snagging the listener’s ear.
Even when the song is at its most moody and ambitious, it gives the listener plenty to hum along to. Singer Kimona 117 pulls out all stops on “So Macha”, moving from sultry croon to distorted scream to desperate whisper, giving a performance that doesn’t need a video to seem dramatic. What also comes through most vividly is the mewling guitars.
This album is the confluence of the best aspects of crust, sludge, crunch and talented musicianship, compelling songwriting, and sheer honesty. These factors combine to create an irresistible, absolutely enthralling release that outshines so many of their peers.
And it is perfectly displayed on the powerful gut-busting “Superstar”, before Suzy Creamcheese slow it down on the echoing album closer, “Gone For Good”. The music speaks for itself, and every aspect of it shines. Overall, the songs on here craft an intense, palpable atmosphere that serve as a drawing board for Kimona 117’s vocals.
However, it is more than the sound of this album that will conquer the hearts and minds of fans – it is the energy, the ideas, the powerful lyrical imagery and the spirit of “NEUROTIC” that will speak to everyone from the casual rock music lover to the fringes of the alternative society who will find solace in the music to take on their own demons and revel in the authentic angst-filled sound of the nineties.