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Spiritual Cramp - Self Titled Review


I always knew that Spiritual Cramp was made for big things when I wrote about them having the Punk EP of the year in 2018, they continue this trend with their latest Self Titled album Spiritual Cramp, after the release of Television which was more of a compilation of EPs rather than a debut album many of us were left wondering were they’re going to go.


Followed up by Here Comes More Bad News with songs like Earth to Mike and also Nah That Aint It / Phone Lines down we thought we had an indication of where Spiritual Cramp would tread sonically. Leading to the latest album which is a joyride of true rock and roll. Whether they’re blending elements of dub, punk or surf rock. It’s an absolute banger and so worth your time.




Spiritual Cramp Self-Titled Album Spiritual Cramp Review



Diving deeper into the Spiritual Cramp S/T album there is 10 great tracks to sink your teeth into. The album begins with Blockback, and I love this as it’s got this dub skit at the start that builds up with a synthy bass before hitting into those reverberated guitar tones playing slowly with a walking bassline to accent it executed by bassist Michael Fenton… Before Spiritual Cramp breaks into absolute chaos with lead singer Micheal Bingham's voice bellowing out about rioting in the streets and the city. All whilst backed up by a lovely fuzzed-out guitar tone played by Jacob Breeze and Nate Punty and let’s not forget the percussion is on point, backed by drummer Julian Smith and Jose Luna on auxiliary percussion which makes the track pop that little bit extra. Proper catchy, fun and aggressive. The chorus “ I wanna know who’s side you’re on” being repeated whilst singing about hating Police and burning down the city is the perfect punk anthem you need in 2023. This track ends off with a little dub callback before moving right into the next track.



Slick Rick - A Country Punk Fusion


The next track Slick Rick from the Spiritual Cramp self-titled is lowkey Viagra Boys-ish, not to put labels on anything but I get the same vibe from tracks such as Punk Rock Loser by them. Which isn’t a bad thing Binghams adding some country-style tone to his voice here. The idea of this track is about being a confident greasy mother fucker and living a lavish life whilst covered in dirt and working hard. All executed in this fuzz-drenched country-toned punk delivery and it’s so sick.


Talkin On The Internet


This track was a single by Spiritual Cramp that was released to hype up the album and even back then it really signalled this experimental shift that Spiritual Cramp was taking with their tone when it was released this is what we said about the track:


Talkin' On The Internet" is a testament to Spiritual Cramp's ability to evolve their sound while staying true to their core essence. With its catchy hooks and unapologetic critique of our online culture, the track encapsulates the band's knack for delivering socially relevant messages through exhilarating punk anthems.


In a world where conversations often take place through screens, Spiritual Cramp's latest offering serves as a reminder to step out of the digital echo chamber and engage with the world in a more authentic way. "Talkin' On The Internet" is a riotous call to action wrapped in a punk package.”


Herbets On Holiday

Herberts on Holiday is another single which is a nice break from the aggressive nature of Spiritual Cramp's self-titled album, it gives them a chance to slow down and mellow out and chill. The chorus is lovely is one word to describe it “If I’m being honest, If I’m being true, I don’t know where I’d be, if I never met you”.


Proper laid-back track with some catchy melodies going on.


City On Fire

The next track on the Self-titled album City On Fire is probably one of my favourites on the album, got these dub-style guitar licks with a short attack and then another that’s a bit more jittery and it becomes this reggae beat that’s backing it. It’s proper easy to get lost in the instrumentation of this track.


Bingham's lyrics on this track explore themes such as a war being on the TV and a war in his head, burning cop cars, and bricks through windows, exploring everyone's apathy and burning the city down. Which seems to be a common theme here between this and Blowback.


Better Off This Way


On this track Spiritual Cramp delivers another anthemic banger, a song about losing your mind and being absolutely comfortable with it “I’m always talking in circles, I’m always playing the loop inside my head, I’m always looking for trouble, I’m always inching closer to the edge”


Then the chorus of I think it’s better off this way just being repeated is so effective for this track. Give it a listen.


Clashing At The Party

The next track opens with the Spiritual Cramp TV motif that starts the album in Blowback and becomes a motif throughout the track being played halfway throughout. This song is class. It’s also got another country vibe to it like Slick Rick. It’s about causing a riot at a party.


Catch A Hot One

Another chance in the tracklist for Spiritual Cramp to chill, this track feels slower but it’s tempo is still fast. Bingham expresses worry about Fentanyl in Cigarettes showing paranoia. This song shows addiction “I’m always getting into fights, I’m always having really long nights, I’m always lying to my wife I’m always shortening my life with bright lights and alcohol and cigarettes”


It’s delivered and wrapped up with a little bit of dub bass that’s being handled excellently with the percussion here. It’s repetition makes it trippy and that’s the point as it ends up becoming quite introspective at the end.


Can I Borrow Your Lighter?

This track is named after the famous last words before you never see that lighter again and someones pocketed it. It’s backed up by this fun “Heys” that get played in a rhythm and it really adds to the pacing of the track. Literally this track doesn’t let up for a second.It’s got fuzzed-out distorted vocals and is about always being stressed out and tired. What a cathartic way to let out these emotions in an explosive fun song that makes you want to bop your head.


Addict

The last song from Spiritual Cramps self-titled album is about being addicted to someone and being completely drained like an addict “I don’t have the energy, I can’t tell if it’s you or me” It’s delivered in this stuttering package of energetic rock and roll mania and it’s catchy as hell.


Rounding Off Our Spiritual Cramp S/T Review

All in all Spiritual Cramp delivers us a fine-crafted and fine-tuned album that explores and experiments with multiple genres and is quickly growing into one of the best rock and roll / punk / dub bands of the new decade. Spiritual Cramp are so diverse please do yourself a favour and check them out.


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