Album Reviews

Inland Empire’s Vixen: Miss Chief Debut EP Review


Miss Chief, with her “Miss and Misters,” debuted their EP last week, November 6th, off of  Los Angeles based Record and Management label, Future Force Records. Melissa Loera, a.k.a. Miss Chief, gathers Miss Devyn Trujillo on bass, and her Misters, Eddie Gonzales on guitar, Daniel A. Flores on drums, and honorary featuring member, Mister Ryan Thomas Gilbert on keys, to provide a substantial foundation of rhythm, experiment, and character. Any debut EP places a marker where potential listeners will skim in hopes to accept your music, or move on. With this being said, the four track EP of Miss Chief acts not only as a marker for listeners, but as a marker of character- whereas some music takes time to deliver this quality to listeners. This is the effortless magic heard from each track individually, and felt as whole, which is so alluring by Miss Chief.

As the EP began with “Paranoid Bird,” there was an instant, and obvious inspiration that was heard, as well as seen. Inland Empire’s Vixen, possessed a youthful, quirky, and retro vibe that only a few have been able to pull off. The vocal stylization, the jazz fusion, mixed with the modern hype of beach music, and constant tempo changes, echoed early years of Orange County band, No Doubt. I never thought I would ever compare another to front woman Gwen Stefani, yet could find no greater compliment, as it takes a specific person to pull off this distinct way of singing.


While Miss Chief croons over a lit moon and embodies an earlier time that is herself, the real allure is what the EP has achieved- defining a personality through audible waves. The energy displayed on each track, especially “Benjamin,” mirrors her onstage performance, and emotional reflection as Miss Chief carries notes over the catchy guitar riffs, and punchy keys. Each track offers a wide range of tempo changes, and diversity from track to track, with an extra flare, musically speaking.


The precision and care that was taken into four tracks, once again led me to think about the influence, but not in an ill manner; in a respectable taste of needing an Inland Empire Vixen within this realm of music in the local music scene. She is a vixen, that wears her influence on her sleeve, or dresses, and owns it. Curiosity peaks for further releases from Miss Chief, her miss, and her misters as of how they grow in sound. As much as you hear others in your work, there is a magic in creating your own voice, that is heard here, but not as loud, yet felt tremendously through their energy. I hold onto anticipation during the blossoming span of their career as the magic that I hear, becomes louder. For an EP to make me fall in love instantly, yet at the same time cause so much time in gathering the right words, leads me to believe Miss Chief knows what she is doing. More than a sound created on this EP, Miss Chief uses her sexuality, voice, charisma, and personality to become a Vixen in the modern age; she is her music.


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