THE CRAMPS: Psychedelic Jungle

15 09 2017
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With a line up change, I guess anyone would question a little if The Cramps could maintain the magic and weirdness they created with their first record. Of course they could, and did. Exit Bryan Gregory, enter Kid Congo Powers.

Psychedelic Jungle is a brilliant record. We all know that. The smut and filth levels are upped here and by no means is it for shock value. It’s just how it is. Gloriously perverse. Others still try and do this but they just sound like creeps. Certain bands have done it since and have kept with the similar tone as The Cramps but others, like I said, are just creepy.

Caveman has this aggressive sound to it. It sounds like a motorbike chase at times. The whole record is one wild ride that you never want to end. It’s got the perfect mix of filth and strange. You have to really listen to pick up on specific references. But hey, if your mind is wired to head that way anyway, you’ll have smirked instantly within the first note.
This is such a great record to lose your mind to. Sure they made some records that make you want to dance but this is one to just lose your mind to. Yeah there are songs that will make you move such as The Crusher. But maybe don’t take the song so literally. Unless you’re a zombie perhaps. This song would fit perfectly in some 70s Horror B-Movie. You know the kind. Don’t be a snob, those films are great! In fact, the whole record feels like it is a handbook for ghouls, vampires and zombies.

For me, The Cramps are that ultimate band. They were just consecutively amazing and always brought out mind blowing and ear bending records. The influence they had and evidently still there. Bands like this don’t come around all too often and sorry to be that person but, they don’t make them like this anymore! The more I write about them and the more I listen to Lux’s earth shaking and hip swaying voice, the more I miss him. The more I miss The Cramps. I could say we need another record as insane as this but do we? This wasn’t the blueprint, it was perfection the second they released it. The haunting werewolf like cries on Primitive is one of the most enticing moments on the record. This song stays with you all damn day.

I love how The Cramps made the artwork to their records fit with what was going on in the record. Sure you can dance to their records, but if you take some time and look at the artwork as you play the record in full, you may see the theme of the record. You may truly feel what’s going on in the record and pick up on the stories being told. It’s genius and totally mind blowing.
I could easily say that this is their greatest records, hell I could say that about all of them to be honest. And you know, it’d be pretty difficult to actually pick a favourite- right? They are one of those bands that blow you away each time, and the thing is, they still do it now. Going back and listening to this record solidly was nothing short of fun. I loved being able to hear new things with each listen and to pick up on different reasons (and new) as to why I just absolutely adore this band.

Maybe behind the filth and sleaze are tips on how to survive the end of the world but hey- Don’t Eat Stuff Off The Sidewalk!





THE GUN CLUB: Fire Of Love.

3 09 2017

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At the end of August 1981, a band called The Gun Club released a record that was unlike anything else. Nothing before or after has ever come close to it. A genre-bending record that still towers over most to this day. It was made to be played loud and obsessively. In short, it is in top end of the best records I have ever heard and will ever hear.

Last week I was feeling pretty shitty so I did what I normally do- bought a record. I wasn’t sure what I was in the mood for. I had my hands on Repeater by Fugazi but then my hands latched onto a live record by The Gun Club. This was difficult, and I know I should have just bought both. I opted for The Gun Club but I will return to rightfully purchase some Fugazi.

Fire Of Love is easily one of the greatest records ever made. It’s this brilliant mix of rockabilly and punk undertones. It’s everything I want from a record. It’s perverse, obnoxious, loud, eccentric and utterly wild. Jeffrey Lee Pierce was a great frontman, and Fire Of Love was just a brief taste of how wonderful he was.

The record opens with Sex Beat and it is such a powerful start to the record. It immediately locks you in. A tight grip round your lugholes. Once you hear this record, that’s it. It’s got this kick to it that makes you forget all you have heard before. When you hear something new, you find yourself comparing it to this record. Seek for the things that give you the kind of kick Fire Of Love gives you, and you’ll be alright.

I spent a lot of last week really studying this record. I wanted to see how it felt with every listen. I wanted to pick up on all that was going on in the record with every listen. I spent my journeys to and from work listening to it. I occasionally listened to it at work and any other chance I got. It’s a record that you can get lost in. You can immerse yourself in it as you travel to work, you can find another world in it as you lay on your bed listening to it, you can fall in love to it. You can do whatever the hell you want to this record- and it will wonderfully heighten everything you think and feel. It’s simply, a perfect record that continues to stand the test of time. Time is a mere obstacle in comparison to this record.

Fire Of Love is one of those records that some lost teen hears in their formative years and picks up a guitar, and changes the world. This is such a powerful record. It’s got this feel to it that still leaves you amazed with every listen. From the fury in She’s Like Heroin To Me and the sheer force within Fire Spirit. It’s timeless. As clichéd as it sounds, it truly is a timeless record. It may only be 40 minutes long but each song takes you away from where you are.

When you listen to this record, you can easily pick up on bands that have since been influenced by this record and The Gun Club in general. Bands like this are rare. Fire Of Love is THAT record that stays with you for your whole life. It’s that record that you can easily remember first hearing, where you were, what you were wearing and what you were doing. It’s a defining moment- for the band and for those that have heard the record.

Fire Of Love is made up of 11 songs that will change your life, enhance your record collection and blow your mind. When you listen to it, you’ll probably hear how it has influenced bands you love. For them, it is probably THAT record that made them realise they had to start a band. It’s got that sound to it that makes you want to make your own sound, your own noise.

Stick your headphones in and go for a walk playing this. You’ll probably feel about 10 feet tall as you wander round listening to it. Jack On Fire will be the one that makes you feel tough and unstoppable.