THE CRAMPS – Songs The Lord Taught Us [remastered reissue + bonus] *HQ*
This one was requested and while isn’t the type of music we usually feature here – THE CRAMPS “Songs The Lord Taught Us” – this is a band & album that played an important role into the late Seventies / early Eighties American rock underground scene. While they started as a classic rock blues based act, members Lux Interior and Poison Ivy discovered punk, and then mixed it with American rockabilly for an explosive cocktail: THE CRAMPS are considered the creators of the rock sub-genre psychobilly (rockabilly+punk).
“Songs The Lord Taught Us” is crazy, raw, and at the time of it release, dangerous… your grandpa didn’t liked.
The Cramps are very polarizing. Most people hate the very concept of them and loathe their existence. But if the idea of rockin’ monsters, a big rockabilly beat, and the rantings of a wildman sound like something you’d be interested in, then this record is the place to start.
In this first full length, The Cramps unleashed a sickness that the country wasn’t ready for – and, frankly, still isn’t. The album sounded great, craze, original, despite the weird lyrics (full of werewolves, psycho killers, and other assorted unsavory members of society) and the dirty guitar work.
Descending on Memphis to cut their debut album with Big Star legend Alex Chilton, the band served up a thirteen-song punkabilly testament to drive-in anti-culture, replete with garage-band guitars and booming voodoo drums.
Versions of “Fever” “Strychnine,” and the Johnny Burnette Trio’s “Tear It Up” competed with Lux Interior-Poison Ivy originals like “T.V. Set” and “I Was a Teenage Werewolf.” 0dayrox. “Garbageman” surfaced as a single in some areas, a wise choice given the at-once catchy roll of the song and downright frightening guitar snarls, especially on the solo.
Interior has the wailing, hiccuping, and more down pat, but transformed into his own breathless howl, while Ivy and Gregory keep up the electric fuzz through more layers of echo than legality should allow. Knox helms the drums relentlessly; instead of punching through arena rock style, Chilton keeps the rushed rhythm running along in the back, increasing the sheer psychosis of it all.
”Songs the Lord Taught Us” was also the first and last Cramps album to feature scary-looking guitarist Bryan Gregory, and while the band continued active and recorded various LP’s, none match the magic and crazyness of this one.
You need to check this one, it’s a piece of American rock (and World) culture.
01 – TV Set
02 – Rock On The Moon
03 – Garbageman
04 – I Was A Teenage Werewolf
05 – Sunglasses After Dark
06 – The Mad Daddy
07 – Mystery Plane
08 – Zombie Dance
09 – What’s Behind The Mask
10 – Strychnine
11 – I’m Cramped
12 – Tear It Up
13 – Fever
14 – I Was A Teenage Werewolf (With False Start) [Original Mix]
15 – Mystery Plane [Original Mix]
16 – Twist and Shout (previously unreleased)
17 – I’m Cramped [Original Mix]
18 – The Mad Daddy [Original Mix]
Lux Interior – vocals
Poison Ivy Rorschach – guitar
Bryan Gregory – guitar
Nick Knox – drums
Booker C – organ on “Fever”