Spiritual Cramp "Mass Hysteria" 7inch
"Spiritual Cramp comes to the Bay Area in a time of need. San Francisco has always been a haven for artists, musicians, punks & freaks. But here, in 2017, these types have become more offhand than on–lesser, as if that side of our culture has been tucked in, put to sleep. But, no matter how much polish is applied, no matter how clean they try to make it, there will always be danger in the city.
What we’ve learned from this big change is that existing in an affluent society can feel just as oppressive as living in a disadvantaged society, especially if one doesn’t fit certain criteria of the dominating class. Rock ‘n roll has always reflected disgruntled youth and its rockers often create sounds that are mimetic of their inner state–what is experienced in the day-to-day.
For their first release, rightly named Mass Hysteria, Spiritual Cramp relates this state of unease in a seemingly at ease system. The sounds borrow from the past, echoes of late 70’s, early 80’s working class rock ‘n roll / punk, which function on the upbeat, showcasing very bright guitars, yet generating darker vocal rhythms, darker patterning.
Punk music and its sensibilities are all exemplified here, just as much in the visual as in the beat. “Violence keeps me up at night,” Vocalist, Michael Bingham repeats. And later, “My friends are alright.” Much of their inspiration has stemmed from UK77, Reggae Music, DIY/ hardcore / punk culture and ethics. Most of all from artist friends in the Bay Area and simple objects we find in the streets: a broken TV, telephone wires, that seemingly unimbued message that’s written on the wall. These quieter, more subdued artifacts somehow seem to say a lot about our experience, but when taking on this music, there is an urgency that portrays life in the city, life as a punk, life as of now."