Editor's note: Anna Minard, the latest addition to The Stranger's editorial gaggle, has never heard any music aside from Richard Marx and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Thus, every Wednesday, we present Never Heard of 'Em, in which we force her to listen to and write her impressions about random records by artists considered to be important by music nerds.
The Cramps Bad Music for Bad People (I.R.S. Records)
(Late because I am a lazy jerk. And special deadlines or something.)
When I told people I was doing the Cramps for my next Never Heard of 'Em, they had opinions, most of which started with laughing. But since I am not allowed to know anything, I had to plug my ears and hum until they shut up. They're excited to tell me their opinions once I tell you my uninformed one, so here goes.
First impression: I can't tell if they're joking? I think they're joking. This sounds like a punk version of the B-52s to me (I still don't know what "punk" means, by the way, other than "kinda shitty at music but in a good way." So that's probably wrong, they're probably rock or something.*) But they definitely sound like they're having a ton of fun. There is a song about a fly that I think is neat.
After listening to the whole album about five times in a row: This reminds me of those kinds of people who really make you laugh, and they're really funny and weird and cool, but you can never tell if they're laughing at you or with you, or if they're faking the whole persona and when they get home they're all depressed, and so you're always a little bit on guard around them. Those people are great once you're friends with them, but when you meet them for the first time at a party it's just really confusing. I think I have to make friends with this album so I can relax and enjoy it. (Also, god damn it, cool-kid music, STOP YELLING AT ME!)
Best tracks: Track 2, "New Kind of Kick," which has the most fucking awesome lyrics ("Life is short/And filled with stuff/Don't know what for/I ain't had enough" and "Like baby needs mom/Like Suzy needs dick/This baby need/Some new kind of kick"), and Track 8, "Human Fly." The fly song is perfect for me, because I like science and spelling and jokes, and this song has all three of them.
Track that I imagine people really like but I think is annoying because he has something in his mouth the whole time, ohmygod please take it out: "She Said."
Track that actually makes me feel a serious feeling: "Love Me" (dude, are you crying??)
I give this an "I'm laughing but later I'm gonna have to ask my friend what was so funny" out of 10.
*The internet speaks: "punk," "garage punk," "fuck punk," "rock 'n' roll," "rockabilly," "psychobilly." Also, hilariously, their website says this: "It would be almost impossible to have never heard of the Cramps."