Cramps tour for 'Flamejob'

By Noah Lopez

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Aging rock stars in tight pants are nothing new these days. Mick Jagger and Stephen Tyler have managed to tread their images into deeper and cheesier water with their refusal to give up Spandex as suitable pants' material, while Tom Jones somehow manages to fit into the same leather pant size that he wore in his '60s heyday. But no one can pull off what aging psychobilly legend Lux Interior, lead singer for The Cramps, will when he enters downtown Club Congress this Sunday night.

The Cramps have been wreaking havoc on rock tradition since 1976, when they first brought their take on the rockabilly music of the 1950s to New York. Their demented blending of psychedelia, surf and punk rock has made The Cramps a perpetual crowd pleaser ever since.

Add to the mix a whopping dose of sexual innuendo, gender bending dress ─ Lux Interior is no stranger to tight black vinyl, vinyl gloves, high heels and makeup ─ and the band's over the top stage theatrics, and the potential exists for one of the best shows to hit Tucson so far this year.

The Cramps are touring in support of Flamejob, their sixth album, and first for new label Medicine. As with the rest of their catalogue, Flamejob is a scorching collection of Lux's raunchy lyrics and guitarist Poison Ivy's Link Wray-influenced guitar riffing.

With their poor success with record companies and sales, coupled with the trappings of a seemingly limiting musical genre, it's strange that The Cramps have persevered for such a long time, let alone with the amount of fan support that they still maintain. Sunday night's show should be a standing-room-only affair, as hundreds of fans pack Club Congress to catch a glimpse of Lux Interior writhing and panting on stage, his howling vocals trailing out over the bass-heavy rhythm section.

And with song titles ranging from "Bikini Girls With Machine Girls," "Journey to the Center of the Girl," "You Got Good Taste" and "Can Your Pussy Do the Dog?," The Cramps should offer something to offend everyone.

The Cramps will play Club Congress Sunday, Feb. 19, with local blues destructionists Doo Rag getting off to a squealing start. The over─21 show will set you back 12 big ones ─ $14 if you hedge your bets on being able to get a ticket at the door. For information, call 622-8848.

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