No Questions Asked
One of the first-wave of 70’s Los Angeles punk bands, Flesh Eaters occupied the middle ground between artistic and boundary shattering bands such as X (and on the East Coast, Patti Smith, Richard Hell and Television) and the criminal thuggery of confrontational bands such as The Germs and Black Flag. As such, Flesh Eaters were the perfect distillation of what was occurring in LA in the late-seventies, combining the ferocity, the passion, the poetry and the latent violence. Chris Desjardins – really the only Flesh Eater among an ever changing cast of supporting musicians, including Stan Ridgeway, Exene Cervenka, John Doe, Joey Ramirez – channeled not only the boredom and frustration that was the fuel of punk, but recast it in an idiom drawn from the Catholicism of LA’s Spanish heritage and coupled it with dense imagery, replete with a horror and slasher film themes.
On this reissue, the original Flesh Eaters’ release, No Questions Asked , is here in its entirety, along with a host of tracks from compilations, an early 7-inch and unreleased demos. While most of the tracks revel in a tinny sound so characteristic of late-seventies punk records, there are occasional flashes of brilliance that transcend these under-produced tracks: the gallows humor that infuses the dub influenced “Cry Baby Killer,” the spoken word, quasi-Nick Cave “Kiss On My Cheek” and the murkily produced title track. Certainly, this record will appeal to those already familiar with the band, as well as brave listeners ready to face the onslaught of a young and unpolished band. For those raised on prepackaged punk, with its overproduced sheen and facile lyrics, Flesh Eaters may be a bit much.