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Flesh Eaters Bring Palette of Influences to Reunion 

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Southern California proto-punkers The Flesh Eaters, predecessor to both X and The Blasters, might be expected to bring predictable thrashing sounds to the band’s reunion album, I Used to Be Pretty, due Jan. 18 on Yep Roc Records. But founder Chris Desjardins (Chris D.) said the band’s genesis always was more complex. The sounds of Southwestern cowpunk bands like Green on Red and The Gun Club can be heard in the Flesh Eaters’ new songs (due in part to Desjardins’ earlier role in producing those bands for Slash Records), and Desjardins thinks the concluding epic “Ghost Cave Lament” offers riffs similar to those on The Doors’ “The End.”

Listeners may hear more diverse suggestions of Stan Ridgway or bands like Morphine, since saxophonist Steve Berlin defines the album more than guitarist Dave Alvin and bassist John Doe. The presence of Desjardins’ former wife Julie Christensen in backing vocals gives a flavor of the Desjardins/Christensen 1980s band, Divine Horsemen. That latter band’s plan to tour in 2018 was set aside when bassist Robyn Jameson died in July 2018 as the result of an assault, but Desjardins said there still could be Divine Horsemen work in the future.

In the meantime, The Flesh Eaters have provided fans with 11 ambitious tracks venturing well outside punk. The band still has plenty of new ideas, so if the midwinter 2019 tour is successful (no Colorado stops are planned), The Flesh Eaters may go back into the studio for a reprise later this year.

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