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A Minute to Pray, A Second to Die

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Album Review

A classic album of trashy-noir darkness, seamy Hollywood dreck, campy blues horror, and Stax-influenced, stripped-down guitar punk, the Flesheaters' first release, A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die, truly delivers what it promises: simple, direct, roots-flavored early L.A. punk. However, calling this a punk album is reductive at best. Sure, it utilizes the less-is-more, low-rent attitude and musicianship, but Chris D. and crew — and it's an exceptional crew, featuring former Blasters Dave Alvin and Bill Bateman (accomplished roots players in their own right), saxman Steve Berlin, who later played with Los Lobos, and John Doe and DJ Bonebrake of X — succeed in creating a sonic pastiche of true American music. From blues to jazz to rock to rockabilly, the Flesheaters were able to accomplish all, and that is no more apparent in their catalog than on this debut, which captures the fire and directness of early Sun Studios recordings — albeit with more self-consciousness. Later the band would devolve into campier, less invigorating rock, but songs like "See You in the Boneyard," "So Long," and "Digging My Grave" are enduring testaments to this lineup's power, simplicity, and prestige. Chris D., with his whine and shriek — a bit like Darby Crash — later formed the Divine Horsemen, as well.

Customer Reviews

Compared...Clean version no F&*#ing different. GREAT ALBUM!

This is a GREAT album which deserves the full 5 star rating, but some people here saw the "Clean Lyrics" logo and decided that it therefore deserved a 1 to get back at I-tunes for censorship. This is obviously a mistake. But these geniuses didn't compare it to their album. It's the same album. The only difference is that you will pay $9.99 here, and around $30 to $70 on Amazon, as it is rare at this time. Feel secure getting it here, as you NEED this album.


We do not need Big Brother. We are more than capable of deciding what is or is not approporiate. I will find this album elsewhere.


I have been searching for this album for years. Underground music reviewer Byron Coley called it the best album ever recorded. But if iTunes feel they have to "protect" us from the band's completely harmless thoughts on religion and sex, it is our duty to protect them from profiting from censorship. Nothing could be filthier than their idea of "clean."


Formed: 1977 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s

Flesh Eaters was the nominal group founded by post-punk poet Chris D. (Desjardins), a singer renowned for his poor social skills (causing a revolving lineup which featured Stan Ridgway, John Doe, and Dave Alvin, among a host of others) and a penchant for obsessively morbid lyrical themes. The first Flesh Eaters full-length, No Questions Asked, appeared in 1980 on Upsetter Records. Its follow-up, A Minute to Pray, A Second to Die, fleshed out Chris D.'s rather unique vision with a tight band including...
Full Bio
A Minute to Pray, A Second to Die, The Flesh Eaters
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