The Shangri-Las: They're like nostalgia juice shot into the auditory canal for anyone who remembers the '60s. Teen girls sounding innocent, yet yearning for bad boys, with just a bit of Queens accent bleeding through their sweet voices: "I met him at the can-dee-sto-wah . . ."
Mary Weiss, the Shang with the straight blond hair, was just 14 in 1964 when she sang lead on their first hits: "Remember (Walking in the Sand)" and "Leader of the Pack." Now the girl is 56 and returning to record for the first time in almost 40 years with Dangerous Game (Norton).
"Kids, kids don't know shit/They just want a hit/ I don't write hits," she sings in "Cry About the Radio." A boomer approaching seniorhood knows what's what about life, and it's not always expressed through melodramatic teen operas. In "I Don't Care," Weiss croons sweetly about kicking a guy off her couch. Hell, she doesn't even need that dude, as she joyfully proclaims on "Don't Come Back."
Weiss might've grown up, but she does keep a few of the toys from her past. Bandleader Greg Cartwright (Oblivians, Compulsive Gamblers) co-produced Dangerous Game with Norton's Billy Miller, giving the disc a sweet '60s sound with a touch of modern garage grit (her backing band is the Reigning Sound). That should give the music enough cred with the retro heads, or at least give them a new girl-group-style disc, other than those from the Detroit Cobras.