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CRAMPS - Fiends of Dope Island LP


CRAMPS - Fiends of Dope Island LP

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At this point, it's obvious to anyone who's been paying attention that The Cramps are spinning their wheels in their own unique universe of bad taste, tawdry sex, over-the-top violence, and sub "B" exploitation flicks - no apologies offered, none needed - but it ain't a bad rut to be in.

Missing and presumed dead since 1997's "Big Beat From Badsville," Lux Interior and Poison Ivy (joined in the lab this time by bassist Chopper Franklin and drummer Harry Drumdini) haven't really tinkered or experimented too much with their signature seedy, soiled take on Sun rockabilly, but it appears from the insert photos the two have been watching a lot of Dan O'Bannon's "Return Of The Living Dead" or Kathryn Bigelow's "Near Dark."

Nothing here really reaches the full head of steam they achieved on earlier material, like their frazzled cover of "Tear It Up" (perhaps their finest moment), but "Dopefiend Boogie" and "Wrong Way Ticket" come close, the latter a stoked, butt-ugly guitar workout from Ivy with Lux drooling and about to burst an aneurysm, going on and on about who knows what (the lyrics don't provide any clues). "Fissure Of Rolando," "Dr. Fucker M.D. (Musical Deviant)," and "Oowee Baby" may be Cramps-by-numbers, but all boast a healthy arterial flow of arsenic and a slick of petroleum, fouling the air like hoof dust from the Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse, Ivy bending, flattening, and strangling all six strings and Drumdini whomping the skins. Their cover of "Taboo" is all shimmering, brooding reverb and "Color Me Black" cops Link Wray's "Rumble" riff, both darkening your world and branding you for having listened.

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