Music » Critics' Choices

The Cramps

Thursday, May 29, at the Madrid Theatre.

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Years before the 57th Street Rogue Dog Villians extended a musical invitation to get fucked up, the Cramps had already arrived at the party. The Cramps' 1994 tune "Let's Get Fucked Up" didn't faze hardcore fans, who had long since adjusted to ribald inquiries such as "Can Your Pussy Do the Dog?" Formed in 1976, the Cramps' big, black, witchcraft rock pilfers innuendo-laden lyrical imagery from B-grade horror flicks and Russ Meyer films and juxtaposes it with urgent psychobilly soundscapes. Vocalist Lux Interior and bass player and guitarist Poison Ivy are the only original members left, but the group's recent Fiends From Dope Island indicates that it has no plans to age gracefully. On tour for the umpteenth time, the Cramps remain far more potent than any band with a 27-year history should, blasting out memorable originals from its extended catalog plus twisted covers that range from the Trashmen's hang-ten classic "Surfin' Bird" to the Elvis Presley stinker "Do the Clam."

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