The Cramps – Smell of Female (Big Beat) 1983

(While I do battle with a recent Valdislav Delay record I bought, I asked work colleague Tom to write down some thoughts about Smell of Female. It is their best record and as an aside please make sure you don’t buy anything they released after Date With Elvis. All of those records suck hard). Cheers Tom.

Why nothing will ever rule harder than LA in the early 80’s

I’m very new to the Cramps but I’m told on good authority that this record is the one to own. I’m putting that down to the fact that there’s no bass player on it and Kid “Congo” Powers handles rhythm guitar duties.

Listening to this and knowing Congo Powers was there, my mind can’t help but be flooded with images of LA in the early 80’s (even though I’m not entirely sure where the Peppermint Lounge was). I personally love LA in an totally smutty, shit-box kind of way. Even though all I did there was go record shopping, in hindsight I like to pretend I lived out all my Welcome to the Jungle fantasies.

Congo Powers embodies this probably unrealistic image I have of the city – all sleazy blues, awesome moustaches and living in the desert or something. Not content to just, oh, start the Gun Club with Pierce, he joins the Cramps and then rips the walls off the place on this record.

The record itself is all glorious, howling Gretschs with thick-soup humbuckers which are entirely acceptable in this situation.

I would like to conclude with the following:

1. waiting at bus stops in the sun

2. empty swimming pools

3. dinosaur shaped play equipment (in the days before civil liability when playgrounds were fun and only the useless kids hurt themselves)

4. having big hair before Poison

5. a passing interest in bogus spiritualism.


Live 1984

One Response to “The Cramps – Smell of Female (Big Beat) 1983”

  1. The Peppermint Lounge was in New York. Also, although Kid Congo was credited on the album sleeve with playing guitar most of his parts were overdubbed by Ivy as his were too bad to use. Great album though.

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