The Cramps were an American punk rock band, formed in 1976 and active until 2009. The band split after the death of lead singer Lux Interior. Their line-up rotated much over their existence, with the husband and wife duo of Interior and lead guitarist Poison Ivy the only permanent members. Guitarist Bryan Gregory and drummer Pam Ballam completed the first complete lineup in April 1976.
They were part of the early CBGB Punk Rock Movement that had emerged in New York. The Cramps are noted as influencing a number of musical styles: not only are they one of the first garage punk bands but also the first known band to blend punk rock with rockabilly, The Cramps are widely recognized as one of the prime innovators of psychobilly, and they inspired many of the early goth bands.
Their music is mostly in rockabilly form, played at varying tempos, with a very minimal drumkit. An integral part of the early Cramps sound is dual guitars, without a bassist. The content of their songs and image is humor, and retro horror/sci-fi b-movie.
Their sound was heavily influenced by early rockabilly, rhythm and blues, and rock and roll like Link Wray and Hasil Adkins, 1960s surf music acts such as The Ventures and Dick Dale, 1960s garage rock artists like The Standells, The Gants, The Trashmen, The Green Fuz and The Sonics, as well as the post-glam/early punk scene from which they emerged. They also were influenced to a degree by The Ramones and Screamin' Jay Hawkins, who was an influence for their style of theatrical horror-blues.
In turn, The Cramps have influenced countless subsequent bands in the garage, punk and rockabilly revival subgenres, and helped create the psychobilly genre. "Psychobilly" was a term coined by The Cramps, although Lux Interior maintained that the term did not describe their own style.
Here is one of my favourite albums on vinyl. Unfortunately here's the digital version. However I do own one copy on vinyl too, which makes for greater listening pleasure.
01 - Dames, Booze, Chains And Boots
02 - Two Headed Sex Change
03 - Blow Up Your Mind
04 - Hardworkin' Man
05 - Miniskirt Blues
06 - Alligator Stomp
07 - I Wanna Get In Your Pants
08 - Bend Over, I'll Drive
09 - Don't Get Funny With Me
10 - Eyeball In My Martini
11 - Hipsville 29 B.C.
12 - The Strangeness In Me