The Flesh Eaters
A Minute to Pray a Second to Die


4.5
superb

Review

by butcherboy USER (123 Reviews)
November 19th, 2017 | 13 replies


Release Date: 1981 | Tracklist

Review Summary: What you got is one dead singer..

II

Swaddled in the strychnine drip and Catholic nightmares of late 70’s California, the fiendish swamp punk of L.A.’s The Flesh Eaters was a staple of the West Coast scene, and perhaps the best thing cult poet Chris Desjardins, better known as Chris D, managed in those dark, fruitful years. A Minute to Pray A Second to Die, the band’s second full-length, was released in 1981 on Ruby Records, a DIY imprint who would put out Misfits’ Walk Among Us and the Gun Club’s Fire of Love that same year.

A Minute to Pray embodies L.A. squalor and sleaze. Campy back-alley noir lyrics, crummy guitars, xylophones, a rusted sax and marimbas all get squashed into a hairy little beast of a record, sitting un-pretty somewhere between hillbilly punk and a Spaghetti Western seen through Bela Lugosi’s eye. The song titles sequence can be swapped for a B-horror marathon at your local arthouse cinema. And unlike the nervy, angular, speed-fuelled rock that their peers in New York City were spindling out in those years, the Flesh Eaters sit neck-deep in Southern Gothic blues, both thematically and musically. There’s a morbid patience to how the pieces of the record play out, the band unafraid to splay out the tunes in all their proto-deathly glory, and only the pouncing “Pray ‘Til You Sweat” clocks in short of three minutes. Song for song, A Minute to Pray is the soundtrack to the best heroin party you didn’t get invited to. “Satan’s Stomp” bounces around on wobbly legs, John Doe-penned “Cyrano DeBerger’s Back” struts down the street like an oily old pigeon, and the sax-laced “See You in the Boneyard” is so insidiously catchy that its bars will haunt the brain for nights on end.

The lineup that helped Desjardins put A Minute to Pray together is an addled funhouse of L.A.’s first-wave punk royalty – members of The Cramps, X, Germs, the Gun Club, the Plugz and the Blasters all lend a hand in concocting the record’s saw-toothed voodoo swing. Whatever chemical mess that heady combination of junkie talent promised, A Minute to Pray managed to remain cohesively sound, all the while sinking into filthy territory. Even the lo-fi aspects of the LP play into its hand, both bass and percussion so echoing and ghostly, it sounds like the band just bashed on empty tree trunks, letting the sharpish sax and kitschy keys amp up the guitar fuzz that forms the songs’ torsos. D’s lyrics, rotating between sex, violence, compunction and narcotics; muster relentless humour in the face of their own lethal bends; a staunch obsession with death that far was more boisterous and far less inwardly debilitating that what future icon post-punkers would bring to the fold. It all comes together in splendid fashion, making A Minute to Pray a lurking classic of its time, stark back-room anthems for the demented, and a ghoulish ol’ good time.



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user ratings (21)
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
butcherboy
November 19th 2017


9464 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVH_Vh998Yo

Papa Universe
November 19th 2017


22433 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

he giveth the review, where once was none. praise be

Gyromania
November 19th 2017


28660 Comments


i love your writing style

gonna check this out in a min

SandwichBubble
November 19th 2017


10309 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

WHAT

SandwichBubble
November 19th 2017


10309 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Is this my early Christmas present

butcherboy
November 19th 2017


9464 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Gyro, cheers my man.. hope you like it..



Sandwich, you just wait for what else i got coming in the next couple of days..

SandwichBubble
November 19th 2017


10309 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

its a black friday miracle!

clavier
Staff Reviewer
November 19th 2017


1052 Comments


"oily old pigeon" is no doubt the best comparison i've read

Digging: Common Holly - When I say to you Black Lightning

Chortles
November 20th 2017


21430 Comments


have to agree with gyro, consistently natural your reviews are. looking forward to seeing more from this series!

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
November 20th 2017


16815 Comments


"Swaddled in the strychnine drip..."

Ok this is a butch review, only he can make this grammatical magic work ;)

Digging: Chelsea Wolfe - Birth of Violence

butcherboy
November 20th 2017


9464 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

cheers everyone, ya lovely vagabonds!

bgillesp
November 20th 2017


7053 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ooh, I may check this soon

BallsToTheWall
November 20th 2017


49787 Comments


Need this.

Digging: Pastel Ghost - Ethereality



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