WNnG – Musings from the desk of chaz.

Reissue of the Month
June 18, 2008, 12:38 pm
Filed under: New Music, Revisiting the Old

flesh eaters Last Tuesday, June 10th, was a great day. Finally, after years of waiting, a certain ’81 punk album was re-released onto the masses after hiding in a vault somewhere and going for ridiculous prices on eBay. I saw the CD go for more than the LP at certain times!! This record is a classic and I hold it very dear to my heart.

The Flesh Eaters – Minute to Pray, Second to Die.

Originally released in 1981 on Ruby/Slash out in LA. The players: Chris D., Dave Alvin (Blasters, hands down one of the best guitar players of the scene), Bill Bateman (Blasters), Steve Berlin (Los Lobos), Jon Doe (X) and DJ Bonebrake (X, one of the best drummers of the scene). So, as you can see, it’s a phenomenal line-up of some of the most important players in the LA roots rock/punk movement. While staying close to the styles of the players’ other projects, the sound from this particular album of LA roots/punk history has more of a B-horror movie, creepy vibe – more swampy swagger and bluesy punk than anything that the other guys were doing at the time. It’s got a definite noir and out-there aspect to it and for that reason, it’s one gem that a lot of people like me, keep close at hand and eternally close to the stereo. It’s pretty close in mood to Jeffrey Lee Pierce’s songwriting in the Gun Club, but Chris takes it a few steps farther…even throwing in some free jazz saxphone elements at times.

Chris D. (Desjardins) was a writer for the Slash fanzine, an aspiring gothic-tinged poet and an LA punk producer who ran the same circles as John Doe and Exene Cervenka. Because of his writing background, his lyrics, although dark and horror movie-like, are more literary driven than say, Glenn Danzig from the Misfits. Not to knock the Misfits, we all love them.

Given the opportunity to work with bands that he loved for his label, he produced such seminal albums as – The Gun Club’s Fire of Love, The Dream Syndicate’s The Days of Wine and Roses, Green on Red’s Gravity Talks, work from the Lazy Cowgirls, the soundtrack to Return of the Living Dead and he even helped mix the Misfits’ Walk Among Us. He was a key player in the LA underground and his albums, themselves, solidify him in the world of classic songwriters.

The Flesh Eaters had a few other albums (also great, but not as good) and Chris D. later went on to found the Divine Horsemen as well. The Divine Horsemen are a little more goth-fueled country punk, but they’ve got a couple classic albums out there. Fully worth checking out!! I’d look heavily into checking out the Flesh Eaters’ Minute to Pray, Second to Die CD reissue if you’re at all intrigued to dive into a piece of LA punk history or you’re tired of spinning the same Cramps and Gun Club albums over and over again. Something new. It should just be $13.98 at your local record shop. Fully worth it. Thanks!!



1 Comment so far
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You can safely call this a lost gem. Awesome stuff.

Comment by DNR

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