Seattle synth-punk revivalists The Cripples formed in 1994. The band's formula began with a standard electric bass and drums that were fronted by two singing synth players. Over the years they incorporated guitars at times and a whole variety of mobile, hacked, modified, and even toy plastic keyboards. Early punk bands that used synthesizers like The Screamers were a major influence on The Cripples. The band pre-dated the more recent wave synth bands like The Epoxies and certainly has never been as polished or commercial as their contemporaries, there is a unique sound and raw edge to most Cripples songs, which I'd credit to both the vocal style and the the hacked up and homemade keyboards. Live, the band has always been a blast, they scream and dance around thanks to mobile synth set-ups they've made. I'm not sure the current status of The Cripples, their last live performance was about a year ago. Drummer Reba (who also plays in Tales from the Birdbath) relocated to the UK for a while, although I wouldn't be surprised if they play a show one of the times she's back visiting, I don't think they've officially called it quits. These photos are from when the band played live at The Sunset in January 2006.
Listen to Cripples MP3s: Contraception, Secrets to Keep, Crip Theme, I Give Up (demo version)
Band members: Ross Marshall on synthesizer and vocals, Greg Heino on synth, vocals and guitar, Erik Stockinger on bass and synth, and Rebecca "Reba" Cowan on drums. (Ex-Cripples include Brian Wallace from the Primate 5 and Allie Holly-Gottlieb on drums, and Jen Hale on bass).
- 1997, "Breakdown" 7" (PreOp Records)
- 1998, song "Split Apart" on New World Hors D'Oeuvres Vol. Two 7" comp (Extravertigo)
- 1999, "So Tired" 7" (Smartguy Records)
- 2001, song "Kill Yourself" on split 7" with The Wiretaps (PreOp Records)
- 2003, song "The Itch" on Dirtnap Accross The Northwest CD (Dirtnap)
- 2003, cover songs "Cholo Jump" and "I'm Going Steady With Twiggy" on The Necessary Effect, Screamers Songs Interpreted 2xCD (Extravertigo)
- 2002, "Dirty Head" CD/LP (Dirtnap Records)
- 2004, songs "Deep Throat" and "Hospital" on split 7" with New Luck Toy (Dirtnap)
- 2005, "Culture" CD (Dirtnap Records)
- 2006, song "Easy" on The Funhouse Comp Thing CD (My Fat Ass)
- 2006, song "The Beat Goes On" on We Hate The Underground CD (Holy Cobra Society)