SMELL OF THE CRAMPS - More Songs From The Vaults Of Lux And Ivy
The third volume of off-kilter and crazy early rockabilly, rock & roll, R&B and otherwise un-categorisable songs from a lost world plundered by Lux Interior and Poison Ivy of The Cramps.
Volumes One and Two (PSALM2320 and PSALM2350) were enthusiastically gobbled up on release by Red Lickers so would we want to deprive you of the unhinged pleasures of another volume?
Things get off to a lively, but surprisingly conventional, start with honking R&B tracks from The Wailers and Hollywood Flames but it all goes slightly weird from then on, starting with Joe Hall & The Corvettes on Bongo Beatin' Beatnik where Joe decries the appeal of rock & roll in favour of the pleasures of bongo beatin' in his room (does he mean what I think he means?). And Little Girl by John & Jackie has to be heard to be believed, as Jackie's feverish panting makes this unlikely to get much radio airplay today never mind when it was recorded. And (again) how many songs do you recall about being lost in a cave? Well, you get one here with the evocative nonsense of Gary Spider Webb.
Its not all fruit-cake rock however. A sense of near-normality pops up from time to time - Bo Diddley stands tall with the great Pills and Kip Tyler's sleazy rockabilly of She's My Witch would impress in any context. Blues shouter Roy Brown is featured on the excellent Butcher Pete Part 2 and Deek Watson & The Brown Dots At Our Fireplace offers up a seriously good blues ballad.
Overall, it is the high level of entertainment on offer here that wins the day. Few of these performers are likely to be remembered as being great artists but, if it is entertainment, fun and laughs you are after, these 29 tracks range from being just a little weird to full over-the-edge crazy. Guaranteed to make you smile and admire the chutzpah of those who went overboard to entertain. And how many other CDs can you say that about?
Review Date: April 2012