TV Set – The Cramps

I’m a big fan of horror movies. That’s no secret.

Luckily for me, horror movies and punk rock tend to intersect.

In the case of the Poltergeist remake this year, Spoon took on The Cramps original track, “TV Set,” as a campy addition to the soundtrack.

But I wasn’t content to settle for that.

I listened to The Cramps occasionally in high school, so I decided to give them a spin again. When I delved into their catalogue, “TV Set,” accosted me. It wasn’t the indie chugger that Spoon created. It was angry and raw. And it’s no surprise that they’re often credited with being one of the forerunners of Psychobilly. (Even though lead singer Lux Interior wouldn’t own the term.)

I was about to say, “They sound like they’d fit in at CBGB,” until the internets revealed that they were regulars there. Shocker. I’m sure Hilly welcomed them with open arms.

One of the most refreshing things about The Cramps is that they didn’t self-destruct like other artists did. While Sid was busy killing Nancy and the Talking Heads were fighting over royalties, The Cramps chugged on.

It wasn’t until Lux Interior’s death in 2009 that the band finally called it quits.  That’s 37 years of face-melting guitar duels and Lux’s notorious Iggy-esque antics.

Poison Ivy (lead guitarist) and Lux were married, so perhaps their lifelong honeymoon helped The Cramps find stability. Regardless, I’m incredibly appreciative that their campy tunes laid the groundwork for artists like the HorrorPops and Tiger Army. (I’ve never been a big Misfits fan…)

So the next time you’re feeling a bit stagnant, I’d turn on a horror flick. You never know who will be lurking in the soundtrack.

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