Stay Sick! was the group’s fourth studio album and their first with a bass player. 1986's A Date With Elvis, their previous album, marked a turning point when Poison Ivy added bass to the patterned Cramps sound. Bass duties for Stay Sick! were handled by Candy Del Mar, and the guitar and bass interaction with Poison Ivy is one of the album’s joys.
Like previous Cramps records, Stay Sick! is a celebration of trash culture. The band’s aesthetic finds nourishment in sci-fi and horror movies, low-brow art, thrift-store junk, and girlie mags, summed up in this line: “G-strings ‘n’ gin ‘n’ nylon hose/ Chicken pot pie… everything goes!” All nine originals here are about cheap thrills and lurid sex, and The Cramps were masters of the tongue in cheek. In a song like God Damn Rock ‘N’ Roll, no redemption is sought in the music, which “don’t save souls and I’m just horny enough to throw a flying screw thru' some halo”. This suggestive edge is played to maximum effect in songs like Daisys Up Your Butterfly, Saddle Up A Buzz Buzz, and Bikini Girls With Machine Gun, the latter becoming the group’s highest charting hit in the UK.
One could always depend on the group to give a new spin to non-originals. Bop Pills and old chestnut, Shortnin’ Bread, get the red-lightning treatment, and Muleskinner Blues will make you laugh.
The most valuable player here is Poison Ivy, whose crisp production makes this one of the best sounding Cramps records. An under-rated guitarist, her showcase here is Journey To The Center Of A Girl, where she lays down a dizzying combination of reverb, tremolo, and feedback. By the way, that’s her in fishnets on the album’s cover, the liner notes identifying her as “Ukhan Kizmiaz”.
Stay Sick! is loaded with fun, a great party record for people who like hard and fast rock ‘n’ roll. Sadly, Lux Interior is no longer with us, but his memory will linger on for old and new fans in albums like this. Considering the great legacy of music he left behind, The Cramps will pass into legend.
Artist: The Cramps
Produced by: Poison Ivy
Originally Released in:1989
Number of Discs: 1
Label: Big Beat
Condition: New/ Sealed
A1 Bop Pills
A2 God Damn Rock 'N' Roll
A3 Bikini Girls With Machine Guns
A4 All Women Are Bad
A5 The Creature From The Black Leather Lagoon
A6 Shortnin' Bread
A7 Daisys Up Your Butterfly
A8 Everything Goes
B1 Journey To The Center Of A Girl
B2 Mama Oo Pow Pow
B3 Saddle Up A Buzz Buzz
B4 Muleskinner Blues
B5 Her Love Rubbed Off
B6 Her Love Rubbed Off (Live)
B7 Bikini Girls With Machine Guns (Live)