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Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Record Review – The Cramps

File Under Sacred Music: Early Singles 1978-1981
Munster 10 x 7" Box Set / CD
As Lindsay Hutton, creator of the group's official International fan club 'The Legion Of The Cramped' points out in his sleevenote, The Cramps may not exist as a physical entity anymore, but the frightening legacy they've left behind will continue to be embraced by future generations. This handsome box set of their rare early singles, and more, goes some way to explaining just why that is.

There haven't been many groups who have managed to hurl excess rockabilly fever and sickly ’60s punk slime at the wall and get it to stick together with as much vigour and vengeance as The Cramps did. Their exultant noise exudes something so inviting the listener is beckoned in to a thrillingly strange, and hitherto unknown world. Evidence, if needed, is here in spades, whether original or remake: 'Garbageman' and 'Goo Goo Muck', 'TV Set' and 'Surfin' Bird', 'Human Fly' and 'Domino', all deranged, all pent-up, and all outta control, pushing unheard levels of tremulous cacophony in your eye, and causing heart-bumping palpitations upon hearing the late Lux Interior's impassioned vocal extrapolations. Ivy Rorschach and (the also late and great) Bryan Gregory's frenetic guitars unleashing a furious sound battle each screaming for mercy, or supremacy, or both, while clad-in-black Nick Knox keeps track with primitive jungle drums.

If you've never been sure of the missionary motivation of The Cramps, or have only ever heard (of) them from the 'A Date With Elvis' era on, then I suggest you start back-pedalling now, cos you'll be more than amazed at some of the findings.

Vinyl edition comes complete with envelope containing reproductions of vintage artefacts.
Lenny Helsing

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