I Used To Be Pretty is almost a meditative experience—it’s a reconciliation of the spheres, a balancing of the scales, and a release that’s been building up for years. " /> L.A. Record

THE FLESH EATERS: I USED TO BE PRETTY

January 20th, 2019 | Album reviews

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THE FLESH EATERS
I Used To Be Pretty
Yep Roc

The Flesh Eaters have always been the soundtrack for the pariah, the staggering radical whose only operations manual is an internal moral code deployed against an uncaring world, and now I Used To Be Pretty finds the Flesh Eaters fighting through nostalgia and still doing everything on their own terms. I Used To Be Pretty reunites the original classic line up of the Flesh Eaters last seen in 1981—Chris D., interviewed here, with Dave Alvin, John Doe, Bill Bateman, Steve Berlin and DJ Bonebrake—and finds them examining legacy, transition and discovery. Chris D. sounds as insatiable as ever, writing songs that reflect the power and personality of his literary fiction. He even makes the covers (“Cinderella” and “She’s Like Heroin To Me”) seem like originals, with character and experiences solely his own. When you reach the final song “Ghost Cave Lament,” the proceedings take on a McCarthian nature—particularly Blood Meridian—as Chris wrestles with the cravings and hunger that grow from man and his desires. The music here ably explores similar mindstates: on “Black Temptation,” the guitars seethe, aggressively indifferent to the comfort of the listener, and the horns sluicing through the album add another level of psychic gravity. The Flesh Eaters have divined a collision of spirit and mind, making the existential travails of man into riveting art. I Used To Be Pretty is almost a meditative experience—it’s a reconciliation of the spheres, a balancing of the scales, and a release that’s been building up for years.

—Nathan Martel

THE FLESH EATERS’ I USED TO BE PRETTY IS OUT NOW ON YEP ROC.