[TypicalGirls] flesh eaters live

weasel walter weaselw at juno.com
Thu Apr 6 13:54:40 EDT 2006

whoa. i saw the "a minute to pray . . ." line-up of the flesh eaters play
last night at slim's in SF and it totally didn't suck at all. in fact it
was much better than that . . . it was great! 

the 1981 album is such a classic, solid hybrid of punk, roots-americana,
EC-comics-through-Bataille-lenses lyrical weirdness and avant-rock
experimentation that the songs seem like they would be just plain
impossible to fuck up when performed by musicians of this caliber. my
hunch proved to be correct. although one should naturally be skeptical
about a group that hasn't played together in 25 years (and only played
together a few times even then), but the band (with chris d., john doe,
d.j. bonebrake, steve berlin, dave alvin and bill bateman) thundered
unerringly through the entire album, "pony dress", a few latter day flesh
eaters tunes, plus an encore of the gun club's "she's like heroin to me"
and the sonics' "cinderella". They opened with "digging my grave",
nailing the lurid tempo and feel immediately. it was chilling to see the
whole thing take off from the get-go. It took the band a few songs to
fully warm up, but by the middle of the set they were absolutely
venomous, particularly during an intense version of the slowly
accelerating "river of fever" and while the group navigated the
polyrhythmic double-snare avant-punk sound maze "satan's stomp". Dave
alvin ripped off some truly bloodcurdling solos during the set, his
piercing tone accented by slap-back echos. john doe seemed to be the most
valuable player, shoving the morale forward, headbanging mercilessly with
greasy hair in his sharp suit. chris d.s' goblin shriek never quite
reached the fullest levels of intensity, but he was clearly still in
control of his weapon and he deployed it with laconic undertaker calm. 

if you love "a minute to pray, a second to die" and you're missing these
reunion shows, you're totally, totally blowing it . . . grab an extremely
rare opportunity to see the flesh eaters in LA or at All Tomorrow's Party
in the UK and then kiss a mythical group goodbye forever. 

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