Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Top 102 Albums. No 48. Psychedelic Jungle
Top 102 Albums. No 48.
Psychedelic Jungle - The Cramps
What do The Cramps do? They take the corpulent CORPSE of rock music and brought it down to Dr. Frankenstein's lab. He flicked the switch and they became ELECTRIC flies and their songs the high VOLTage maggots who ate away the rotted FLESH! right down to the ROCKIN' BONES.
They take the initial UNKNOWINGNESS of electricated noise and make it FRESH! They shake the dandruff off the BLUE suede shoulders with a FURIOUS shrug of SINCERE! irony.
I am having a lot of trouble picking a single Cramps album. I was going for Gravest Hits because, although short, it is the first and includes everything that would make them great. AND! it's produced by Alex Chilton on the HOLY ground that is Ardent Studios. But it wasn't on Spotify so I couldn't share it easily. The first album I owned was Off The Bone but that is a compilation so it came down to choosing between Songs the Lord Taught Us and Psychedelic Jungle, although their great live album Smell of Female was also in the running. Jungle won because of added vibrato and the because the line Monkeys with Guns came into my head and seemed to explain some of the primal excitement The Cramps bring to their revival of early rockabilly, a sense that electricity is brand NEW, a sense that THEY, and not just their instruments, are plugged in.
I saw them once, and it was everything you could have wished for, and more, and then some stuff you may not have wished for at all but were going to get anyway. Lux in frilly knickers and six inch heels sweating astride the speaker stack is one of those images that stays burnt into your retinas.
I want to play this LOUD and DANCE.
Here is a song from The Knocking Shop which I guess was inspired partly by The Cramps. Don't blame them for that though! I take full responsibility. (Those are the terms of my parole.)