Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Cramps

In the spring of 1976, The CRAMPS began to fester in a NYC apartment. Without fresh air or natural light, the group developed its uniquely mutant strain of rock’n’roll aided only by the sickly blue rays of late night TV. While the jackhammer rhythms of punk were proliferating in NYC, The CRAMPS dove into the deepest recesses of the rock’n’roll psyche for the most primal of all rhythmic impulses -- rockabilly -- the sound of southern culture falling apart in a blaze of shudders and hiccups. As late night sci-fi reruns colored the room, The CRAMPS also picked and chose amongst the psychotic debris of previous rock eras - instrumental rock, surf, psychedelia, and sixties punk. And then they added the junkiest element of all -- themselves.
(J. H. Sasfy, Professor of Rockology, from the liner notes of The Cramps 1979 release Gravest Hits)
Conjuring a fiendish witches' brew of primal rockabilly, grease-stained '60s garage rock, vintage monster movies, perverse and glistening sex, and the detritus and effluvia of 50 years of American pop culture, the Cramps are a truly American creation much in the manner of the Cadillac, the White Castle hamburger, the Fender Stratocaster, and Jayne Mansfield. Often imitated, but never with the same psychic resonance as the original, the Cramps celebrate all that is dirty and gaudy with a perverse joy that draws in listeners with its fleshy decadence, not unlike an enchanted gingerbread house on the Las Vegas strip. The entire psychobilly scene would be unthinkable without them, and their prescient celebration of the echoey menace of first-generation rock & roll had a primal (if little acknowledged) influence on the rockabilly revival and the later roots rock movement. (ALL MUSIC GUIDE)

It's twenty years this month that I became a Cramps fan. For my fourteenth birthday my cousin, Erik, gave me a cassette of Bad Music For Bad People. From that point on I was hooked. Over the years many bands have fallen in and out of favor in my musical tastes but the Cramps have never lost a beat. I own everything they put out. With sexual innuendos, B - Horror movie references and ultra sleaze, the Cramps have always brought me back beggin' for more. Put a Cramps record on and it will instantly transport you to a different dimension. For the Cramps, its delving beyond to the taboo, to the subcultures that make life more interesting to those wild at heart.
Proceed with caution... This is not ordinary music!
Can Your Pussy Do The Dog?
Bikini Girls With Machine Guns
Shortnin' Bread
Aloha From Hell
Lonesome Town


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