The Flesh Eaters, No Questions Asked

Joe Gross

By Joe Gross

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Though overshadowed by later accomplishments like A Minute to Pray, A Second to Die and Forever Came Today, this driving 1980 album remains a monumental punk achievement, and the pick to click if you like your Flesheaters roaring with maximum punk burn.

Possessed of a wicked B-movie imagination and poetic drive, singer/conceptualist Chris Desjardins (a.k.a. Chris D.) recruited the creme of the Los Angeles punk scene as his ad hoc backing bands: players include John Doe and DJ Bonebrake of X, John Richey and Joey Ramirez from the Eyes, and many more.

Frankly, No Questions Asked is very much an album made by a rock critic; Chris D. spent most of his time as a writer for Slash magazine. Even at their earliest — and this 2004 reissue includes early compilation tracks and their scorching debut EP — the Flesheaters were a very self-conscious blend of styles and images: creepy roots-rock slams into straight-ahead punk, mutant rockabilly hangs out with dub reggae. Over it all is D.'s screech and bellow, mixing horror movie images with fetishized Mexican Catholicism and other junk culture detritus. The fact that it gels into more than the sum of its parts is a testament to the clarity of D.'s vision. No Questions Asked drops you in a dark L.A. alley with a Santeria priest and a couple of hungry zombies; only Chris D.'s howl can show you the way out.