SPIRIT OF THE CRAMPS - SELECTIONS FROM THE VINYL STACK OF LUX AND IVY
Felix & His Fabulous Cats, Sherrif & The Revels, The Versatones, Bob McFadden & Dor, The Ravens, Nervous Norvous, The Treniers, Tic & Toc, The Quarter Notes, Allen Page, Billy Ward & The Dominoes, Gene Maltais, Kip Tyler, Wes Holly, The Collins Kids, The Five Blobs, The Chimes, The Videos, The Johnson Brothers, Ersel Hickey, Johnny & The Hurricanes, Jimmy Witter & the Shadows, Noble Watts, Ronnie Dawson, Kookie Kat.
The smart ones amongst you will already own ‘Bad Music For Bad People' - the first volume on Righteous Records of the wild and crazy tunes spun by Lux and Ivy of The Cramps on their various radio shows.
For volume two, Lux and Ivy delved even deeper into the darkest corners of American music and blew the dust off more manic performances from street corner harmony groups, red hot rockabilly killers, country corn-fed fools, cheesy instrumentalists, sax-crazed R&B bands and rock'n'roll rebels with the odd psychopathic groove thrown in for good measure. I love this stuff. Slam the CD on the player and the whole room comes to life with madcap material that grabs you from the first second to the dying breath of the very last song.
Play it as it comes, or press the random button - every track's a gem. There's the debut track of Texas rockabilly star Ronnie Dawson where he sounds like a fourteen year old on speed screaming out Rockin' Bones, The Quarter Tones saxophone rave-up instrumental Record Hop Blues with its mad middle eight when some lunatic wades in with a jazzy organ solo, and then there's Tic & Toc's rubberlegged piece of vocal gibberish, Jibba Jab, which has the singer sounding like he's been gargling with battery acid for a week. Are you getting my drift now? Allen Page's relatively normal-ish She's The One That's Got It blusters along with tons of stomping piano and cheap guitars but Gene Maltais' Crazy Baby sounds like a hick let loose in the recording studio with corn-pone vocals, a slapping bassline, slithery guitar and even a whistled (!) verse and girls doing the back-up vocals that sound like they've just come off a Bobby Vee session.
The Cramps always liked a bit of menace in their music and Kip Tyler ticks that box with She's My Witch with its spooky vocal delivery, rumbling rhythm, weird lyrics and the nastiest sax playing I've heard in a while. Speaking of spooky though, The Five Blobs come over as a bunch of slime ball lounge lizards whose track From The Top Of Your Guggle To The Bottom Of Your Zooch would strike anybody as a bit strange.
Ersal Hickey drifts in with his relaxed Bluebirds Over The Mountain which made the big time when the Beach Boys released it as a single in 1968, sax player Noble Watts really lets loose on the bump'n'grind bruiser Mashed Potatoes which also features a grinding organ and a killer guitar solo that comes from the Guitar Crusher school of thought, and let's not forget the loony Sheriff & The Revels who crank out a 100 miles per hour gob of the best kind of 50s doowop madness with nonsense lyrics and a beat that just won't stop on the crazed Shombolar.
It's mad but very very good. Do yourself a favour and get it!
Ask for PSALM 2350
Review Date: Febraury 2011