Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Flesh Eaters
"Hand of Glory"

The Flesh Eaters
Forever Came Today
(Ruby Records/Slash Records, 1982)

The Flesh Eaters were one of the early L.A. punk bands. Much like (former) Misfits leader Glenn Danzig, frontman Chris D. (short for Desjardins) is obsessed with movies, horror flicks in particular, and pulled titles from films on a regular basis. The band name, for example, is a somewhat obscure 1964 film about a former Nazi scientist developing microscopic, flesh eating creatures on a remote island. Unlike Danzig, Chris D.'s voice takes some getting used to, and his last name is much more difficult to spell. Then again, Danzig isn't his birth name; it's Anzalone. Anyhow, I found Chris D.'s voice borderline unlistenable at first, but now I can't imagine The Flesh Eaters without that melodramatic, tortured yelp.

Today's song is from the only album by The Flesh Eaters never issued on CD. Sadly, it is also their best album, in addition to being their third, and second for Ruby/Slash. When Warner Brothers bought Slash in the early 1980s, both albums by The Flesh Eaters, this one and its predecessor, A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die, were deleted. The latter was eventually reissued on CD in the 90s, but Forever Came Today has strangely remained locked away from the realm of aluminum and plastic. I had hope when the first and fourth, No Questions Asked and A Hard Road to Follow, were done up with deluxe reissues by Atavistic a few years back, but no such luck. Then again, those were released on Chris D.'s own label, Upsetter Records, so licensing probably wasn't a big issue.


Anyhow, all but four of the songs on Forever Came Today were used on the two Flesh Eaters collections released by SST Records in the early 90s: Greatest Hits: Destroyed by Fire and Prehistoric Fits. Naturally, I've picked one of the four that wasn't. Ain't I sweet?

NOTE: Today's entry gets the before they were famous tag as that's future Los Lobos member Steve Berlin wailin' and screamin' on the sax.

3 biased opinions:

Brushback said...

I didn't pay much attention to The Flesh Eaters back then; I'd heard too many crappy records from California, and so when I was flipping through the used bins I started not to trust anything that didn't look "punk" (I was a hardcore at the time, remember). I've only just started to listen to a few of their songs, and it's good stuff so far. They're Jay Hinman's favorite band, I know.

Sutekh the Destroyer said...

Easy to see where 45 Grave got a lot of inspiration from, although I really prefer 45 Grave over this.
Surprised you didn't mention that Stan Ridgeway used to kick around with these guys.

Lightning Baltimore said...

I think you'd dig most of their stuff, Brushy, in particular the first three albums.

I honestly didn't know they hung with ol' Stan, Sutekh. Then again, I only know Wall of Voodoo's lone hit single (and Celtic Frost's execrable cover of it).