Picks and Pans Review: Stay Sick!

updated 04/16/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/16/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

The Cramps

There's no need to look at the back-cover photo of two women and two men, all in miniskirts and heels with gobs of makeup. To understand how kinky, funny and outrageous the Cramps are, listen to the songs on their entertaining sixth album.

This quartet has defined a style of rock best described as psycho-billy because it mixes the attitude of a grade-Z horror flick with the musical style of Buddy Holly or Elvis Presley. Lead singer Lux Interior growls with enough gusto to make Scream-in' Jay Hawkins sound normal. Like many rockers, Lux seems to have only one thing on his mind (sex, naturally). He handles it with unusual humor, using an endless variety of anatomy metaphors and shamelessly wallowing in his obsession with the opposite sex. Lux's wife, Poison Ivy, who plays guitar, and bass player Candy Del Mar blast out licks with a wild power and virtuosity, to the beat of Nick Knox's rowdy drums. The band reaches a peak on the remake of "Shortnin' Bread." At times like this, the Cramps get you in the gut, and it sure feels good. (Enigma)

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