One of the early acts on the New York City punk/new wave scene, the Miamis were a sharp, tight, and funny rock band who often graced the stage at CBGB, Max's Kansas City, and the Mudd Club in the mid- to late '70s, sharing stages with the likes of Blondie, Talking Heads, the Ramones, Television, and the New York Dolls. The Miamis, however, came along at a time when the sound of "punk rock" hadn't yet been firmly codified and within a few years, their explicitly pop-oriented sound would seem dated and stodgy when hardcore began to up the ante on punk rock, leaving this fine band without a publicly available catalog of recordings.
The Miamis were formed in 1974 by brothers James Wynbrandt and Tom Wynbrandt, both of whom sang, played guitar, and wrote songs; their tunes popped up in the repertoires of Wayne County and Teenage Lust, as well as their own. The siblings joined forces with bassist Dale Powers, drummer George Day, and keyboard player Tommy Mandel, and the Miamis were soon making their way onto the New York rock scene just as a new breed of underground bands were breathing new life into the Big Apple.
The Miamis gigged regularly in New York and were one of the best-liked bands on the scene, and in time record companies came calling. The group cut spec sessions bankrolled by major labels that were produced by Craig Leon (who was behind the board for the Ramones' first album) and Genya Ravan (the singer who produced Young, Loud and Snotty for the Dead Boys), But in spite of the quality of the results, the consensus was that the Miamis were too poppy for the hard-edged punk crowd, while the mainstream pop audience wasn't ready for their energy and tongue-in-cheek lyrics. Stuck in the middle, the Miamis eventually grew frustrated with their inability to gain a larger audience, and in 1979, the band parted ways.
James Wynbrandt became a journalist and aviation writer, Tommy Mandel worked with the likes of Dire Straits and Todd Rundgren as a touring musician, George Day worked at rehabilitating former race horses too old for the track, and Tom Wynbrandt worked in advertising and marketing. In 2009, the group self-released a collection of unreleased studio sessions from the '70s simply titled The Miamis, and in 2016, Omnivore released We Deliver: The Lost Band of the CBGB Era (1974-1979), which featured rare studio tracks, demo recordings, and live material taken from a show at CBGB. ~ Mark Deming