The Flesh Eaters - A Hard Road To Follow!
The Flesh Eaters - A Hard Road To Follow
Upsetter Records 1983 LP
"The Complete Hard Road To Follow Sessions" Atavistic Records 2004 CD
01. Life's a Dirty Rat
03. The Hammer Hits the Nail
04. My Destiny
05. Buried Treasure
06. I Take What I Want
07. Eyes Without a Face
08. Father of Lies
09. Fistful of Vodka
10. Every Time I Call your Name
11. We'll Never Die
12. Poison Arrow
13. Impossible Crime
14. Hard Road to Follow
15. Pony Dress
16. Lake of Burning Fire
17. Divine Horseman (live)
The Flesh Eaters are a fascinating band in the history of L.A. punk. They aren't as much a band as they are a group of musicians revolving around Chris Desjardins. Chris D. is the singer and and main songwriter for the Flesh Eaters (he wrote nearly every song in the bands catalog). He is considered by many, including myself, to not only be a punk poet but to be one of the most poetic lyricists in L.A. punk, and maybe even American punk in general (the only person who comes to mind who gives him a run for his money is Darby Crash). Chris D. knew how to get his ideas across, whether it was writing Flesh Eaters lyrics or writing for Slash magazine. The band formed in 1977 with the first wave of L.A. punk, and became a Los Angeles punk supergroup with a revolving cast of musicians including members of X, the Plugz, The Eyes, Black Randy, and The Blasters.
This album was recorded and released in 1983, and was the last album to come from the Flesh Eaters' original run. This time the band consisted of Don Kirk on guitar, Robyn Jameson on bass, Chris Wahl on drums and percussion, Jill Jordan with the backing vocals, and Steve Berlin on saxophone for a couple songs. This happens to be the same band as was used on Forever Came Today, the first time in the band's 5 year run that Chris D. used the same band twice. This album is also COMPLETELY different than A Minute To Pray. It's very heavily based in roots rock this time, as opposed to just being an influence you could pick out. This makes A Hard Road To Follow the most conventional rock album of their career (although it still has that Flesh Eater's deathrock sound, it's less prominent on most of the songs). This album also features two very interesting covers. The first is "Rhymes" by Al Green, and it just might be my favorite song on the entire album. The second is "I Take What I Want" by Sam & Dave, and it features great duet vocals between Chris D. and Jill Jordan. Who knew the Flesh Eaters would be able to handle classic soul songs SO well. Besides those two tracks, the standout originals are the album opener, "Life's a Dirty Rat" and "Eyes Without A Face," which was also featured on the soundtrack to the classic punk rock zombie movie Return of the Living Dead. (James Kelly @ NewJerseyNoise)
A complete reissue of the long out-of-print masterpiece, and 4th release by '70's L.A. punk icons, The Flesh Eaters! Atavistic's Hard Road to Follow reissue also includes 5 bonus tracks & deluxe artwork in an oversize lyric booklet. Excerpted from Byron Coley's liner notes: 'Although it was not the last album to be issued under the name of The Flesh Eaters, Hard Road to Follow occupies a unique and special place in the band's pantheon. Released in 1983, by Chris D's own Upsetter label, it was the fourth annual and final installment in the original sequence of Flesh Eaters' albums. Hard Road was also the first to have the same line-up as its predecessor, Forever Came Today.
The band's fourth corrosive masterpiece in as many years, 'Hard Road' is the best evidence of a band that had achieved a still unequaled massiveness of sound. For my money, this particular version of The Flesh Eaters represents the greatest rock band ever. They were it. Their live shows (of which I missed only two or three) were uniformly mind-melting, and while the records they left cannot convey everything that The Flesh Eaters were, they remain among the best albums ever. (Forced Exposure)
Like its predecessors, it's a masterpiece of caterwauling punk rock, limned with the first hints of the boozy Stones-influenced blues and raw 60s soul that Chris packed up & brought to his next band, the DIVINE HORSEMEN. It's got some of the best "hard rock" songwriting you'll ever hear -- both in the "fantastic realism" of the fever-drenched lyrics and in the tempo-building complexity of the arrangements. Tracks like the superb "We'll Never Die", "Father of Lies" and "Everytime I Call Your Name" come on like heavy metalloid steamrollers, with a sort of rebel swagger that most bands could never pull off yet fit this pack of LA miscreants to a fucking T. In fact all of what was once known as "Side 2" is flat-out perfect -- in addition to the aforementioned, there's the jaunty alcohol paean "Fistful of Vodka" and the top-shelf pounder "Poison Arrow", all backed up with totally appropriate, soulful and deliberately muffled female vocals from Jill Jordan. "Rhymes" is a total oddity stacked next to this lineup of crunchers: a shambling, street-corner duet /harmonization between Chris and Jill that could have been performed by Marvin & Tammy or Ike & Tina if they'd come of fruit-bearing age around the Masque & Hong Kong Cafe scenes rather than in Detroit and Mississippi. (read rest of review @ AgonyShorthand)
Young poets on the East Coast were originally attracted to punk by its simplicity, directness and malleability. Most prominently, Patti Smith and Richard Hell found that crudely executed rock'n'roll provided the perfect backdrop for their verbal barrages. Though less celebrated, California's Chris Desjardins made equally ambitious records with a constantly changing set of Flesh Eaters that virtually amounted to a who's who of Los Angeles' new wave notables. Singing in a style akin to Hell's delirious hysterics, Chris D. turns morbid, sensational subjects like murder, vampirism and necrophilia into diverting entertainment through relentlessly intense lyrics. And though their demented tone will drive off most listeners, his albums bear hearing. (read the rest of article @ Trouserpress)
The Flesh Eaters est un groupe qui reste pour moi une figure emblématique du punk californien de la fin des 70s, au même titre que X ou le Gun Club entre autres...
1983, 4ème album des 'mangeurs de chair' (vegans will hate) qui termine une série magique de petits chefs d’œuvres rock/punk/blues bien crades et salvateurs.
Topé cette réédition pour les morceaux bonus, des perles datant de 1979 à 82, et ce post en attendant que je rippe les vinyles sus-nommés (ainsi que le Live de 88)... Après ça se gâte à mon sens, d'autant que le groupe a splitté après cet album pour devenir plus rock-folkeux avec Divine Horsemen, d'où un retour en 91 pas très convaincant.
Outre des guitares ciselées et agressives, le chant souvent hurlé de Chris Desjardins (et qui me fait parfois penser à celui d'un certain Darby Crash) donne toute sa personnalité à ce groupe unique qui aura vu du beau monde passer dans ses rangs; DJ Bonebrake et John Doe (X), Karla 'Maddog' Barrett (Controllers) ou encore Tito Larriva (Plugz) par exemple. Ceci dû à son manque de sociabilité de poète à moitié cinglé? C'est comme ça qu'on les aime, putain!
Chris a notamment écrit pour Slash Magazine et Forced Exposure. Henry Rollins a publié un recueil des poèmes de Chris D. intitulé "Double Snake Bourbon" maintenant épuisé.
Comme sur l'album précédent 'Forever Came Today' apparait Jill Jordan aux choeurs (la brunette sur la couv'), de quoi se repaître avidement en sifflant une bouteille de bourbon, juste après une bière et un scotch bien-sûr... tout en visionnant une énième fois Le Retour Des Morts-Vivants dans lequel "Eyes Without A Face" sonne le glas de la bienséance?
Profitez de cette bénédiction marécageuse en vous baignant dans les sables mouvants de l'allégresse qu'elle procure, vous serez noyés de pur plaisir Rock et fuckin' Roll !
Ah, pis si vous aimez lire aussi, y'a de quoi faire avec Chris D.
Same Rip specs as usual, now to find a buried treasure you just have to open your eyes !
Unzip pass: deathburger
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