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Big Beat From Badsville, LP (£17.80)
Once more the band that dares to be different dives into the Devil's gutbucket and comes up gasping with 14 cuts (18 CD) to push your panic button. Music of anti-social significance to be enjoyed naked on roller skates, semi-conscious or both.
In the beginning Big Beat wasn't an amalgam of metal with disco tape loops and samples. Oh, it was dance music alright, but a down'n'dirty undulating strain of bone-rattling tunage several zones away from the clatter that term has come to be synonymous with. The original brew was a potent clash of past and present concocted by sonic alchemists in the bowels of New York City in 1976. The Poison Ivy Rorschach/Lux Interior brand of primo-scuzz was developed under strange conditions and the spawn has crawled a fair distance from their bad ol' lab jar whilst retaining all them original proteins. It'll be 25 years this approaching November since the Cramps made their live debut-.-just stop to consider that.
The Cramps (along with the Ramones) are as influential as the Beatles or the Stones. They unlocked a seam of ancient knowledge believed lost to the world and kicked its bruised bahookie back into the public domain. Roy Trakin stated in New York Rocker that they could either be Kiss big or Trashmen obscure but the reality is stranger than that. Trapped in a world they never made and for reasons only known to themselves, the band has continued to exist and to prevail. This longevity inversely makes them more successful than most in the organic sense of that expression. The world needs the Cramps more now than it ever did and non-believers can begin the, however many steps it takes to get off the lame-wagon, programme right here. Firming up the back catalogue is heap timely medicine and I'll be horn-swaggled if the re-issue of Big Beat From Badsville on the Big Beat imprint doesn't hammer the message home further.
Originally released by Epitaph in 1998 and by all accounts out of circulation since 1999, Badsville is their most recent studio album and headed your way like the hellbent juggernaut that it is with additional single flips and random tracks. The cover states clearly: "Warning - this is not ordinary music", roundly challenging any potential listener into dealing with something several shades stronger than just anything toting a Parental Advisory sticker. A customised hot rod with a solid Las Vegas chassis. Fast, furious and all points betwixt, BBFB contains more than enough fuel-injected burlesque to stem any hunger and may well invoke spasms of outright enlightenment previously considered uncharted. A Cramps live show is like no other experience on this or any other planet and on this studio high-wired act they actually manage to transcend that environment. Yike is right.
Kicking off with Cramp Stomp, the stall be set and all the right crunches are firmly pulled. Lux's command of subverting the English language is unmatched anywhere and as unabashed smut goes, some of his stuff is just well... "Get as high as Queen Kong's twat" indeed...The unsurpassed master of the triple and quadruple entendre, Mr Interior would, I'm sure, gladly inform any tabloid journalist where he got the idea for Devil Behind That Bush and we could realistically not be talking George here.
Here then are tales of god monsters and hypno sex rays, wet nightmares and haulass hyenas. Sheena's In A Goth Gang chronicles the former punk rocker's descent into the forbidden vampire underground and beyond. If all or any of this sounds like we're making it up then surely that's gauntlet enough...mere words can but understate the power and majesty on tap.
I Walked All Night and Confessions of a Psycho Cat were originally additional cuts issued on the Like A Bad Girl Should single. (Incidentally, those souls in search of songs the Cramps have taught us can find the original I Walked All Night by the Embers on El Primitivo American Rock'n'Roll - CDCHD 473). Ivy's excellent solo rumble through Peter Gunn is culled from the Henry Mancini tribute album A Shot In The Dark which came out on Del-Fi subsidiary, Donna.
The other bonus track No Club Lone Wolf I haven't come across prior to this and pretty much does exactly what it says on the lead -lined casket. All neatly packaged for your listening and bouncing yrself offa your every room in the house walls pleasure.
by Lindsay Hutton