The Cramps – Off The Bone

The CrampsNormally, compilations of early material by a band doesn’t auger well. Off The Bone came three years after the Cramps debut album and contains songs from their first few albums as well as some covers thrown in. Their fuzzed up, bass-less sound has become strangely influential, especially after the emergence of shitloads of garage rock bands circa 2000 who decided they didn’t really need a bass player or that a primal pounding drum style was just their thing.

The Cramps are primarily known for two tracks and they’re both on this album, the scuzzed up “Human Fly” and sneering “New Kind Of Kick” (helium/nitrous oxide/formaldahyde/some new kinda kick!”. They perfectly embodied the ragged, stipped down rock ‘n roll the Cramps did perfectly. The covers fit into the whole album really well. “Surfin’ Bird” and “Lonesome Town” are scuzzed up enough to sound like genuine Cramps songs.

Of course this is a band that once did a gig in a mental hospital (see below)The Cramps will probably be overshadowed by their americana/trash/goth schtick, but their music is fierce and as primal as you’ll ever hear. The production is pretty ragged and it does sound weird listening to a band with no bass whatsoever, but Off The Bone is a dirty little pleasure. It reminds me that rock ‘n roll can be thrilling when you really strip it down.

The Cramps – Human Fly:



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