The Cramps were easily one of the biggest pioneers to come out the punk scene. Not only within punk itself, but for the darker, morbid direction they took it. Eventually, this culminated in the wacky and creepy psychobilly scene.
The Cramps certainly have real punk pedigree. They were one of the bands playing at the CBGB bar in the mid-70s, which is pretty much as punk as you can get.
Naturally, their fashion and music styles are somewhat unorthodox. The thing which distinguishes the Cramps from other punk bands at the time, and the thing which resulted in their attaining cult status as the leaders of psychobilly.
“Human Fly” is a slower track than many contemporaneous punk tunes, but have more than enough grit. The twanging rockabilly guitar sets a sinister tone, playing a very simple riff with a delay and some other effect.
The low end is very muddy. I think it might by a bass guitar played with a lot of distortion, and maybe another guitar on top. It sounds great to me though!
The drums are splashy in sound, but add a relentless thump to the track.
Of course, the lyrics are as weird in content as they are in delivery – there’s a horror theme to proceedings.
The tune came out first in 1978, as a single. You can also find it on the 1979 E.P. Gravest Hits, although it was probably most famous because of the Off The Bone singles compilation album, released in 1983.