Saturday, October 8, 2011

Haunting Day 8: The Cramps "The Human Fly"

For all their relatively simple appearances - a small, albeit strange, 3 piece ensemble - the Cramps are actually a lot of things all balled up into one very weird sonic phenomenon.

Part throwback to early primitive rockabilly, part throwback to 60s novelty horror music (like our beloved Munsters theme or Screaming Lord Sutch, for example). Recall (or not) that the late 70s and early 80s had its own 50s retro revival that you can see in TV shows like Happy Days and bands like the B-52s and the Stray Cats. The Cramps were at the extreme end of that - the revival of the 50s underworld in all its pulpy, sleazy, drugged out, perverted and decadent glory. I love the B-52s, but the Cramps make them seem like the Carpenters, no offense!

And then to top it all off, the Cramps coined the term "psychobilly" to describe their music, and the genre has lived on up to the present in the form of bands like The Horrorpops and The Creepshow.

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