18 Songs, 53 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Cramps’ full-length debut established an aesthetic code that was taken for granted by thousands of aspiring garage acts in the decades that followed. To revive the reductionist nature of early rock 'n' roll records, they removed almost any trace of bass guitar or cymbal and let the songs ride on the primal stomp created between naked drums and wiry guitars. Most importantly, The Cramps built their own canon, reflected on Songs the Lord Taught Us. By uniting strands of '50s rockabilly, '60s garage rock, early striptease instrumentals, and the ferocious guitar sounds of surf music and Link Wray, The Cramps created their own sovereign country, overlapping but independent of other sectors of modern rock music. While critics tended to play up the band’s kitsch factor, Songs the Lord Taught Us is a highly personal work that grew out of Lux Interior and Ivy Rorschach’s formative experiences as teenage outcasts in Ohio and California. “I was a teenage werewolf,” howls Lux. “Braces on my fangs/A Midwest monster with the highest grades.” 

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Cramps’ full-length debut established an aesthetic code that was taken for granted by thousands of aspiring garage acts in the decades that followed. To revive the reductionist nature of early rock 'n' roll records, they removed almost any trace of bass guitar or cymbal and let the songs ride on the primal stomp created between naked drums and wiry guitars. Most importantly, The Cramps built their own canon, reflected on Songs the Lord Taught Us. By uniting strands of '50s rockabilly, '60s garage rock, early striptease instrumentals, and the ferocious guitar sounds of surf music and Link Wray, The Cramps created their own sovereign country, overlapping but independent of other sectors of modern rock music. While critics tended to play up the band’s kitsch factor, Songs the Lord Taught Us is a highly personal work that grew out of Lux Interior and Ivy Rorschach’s formative experiences as teenage outcasts in Ohio and California. “I was a teenage werewolf,” howls Lux. “Braces on my fangs/A Midwest monster with the highest grades.” 

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