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The Eat 

It's Not the Eat, It's the Humidity (Alternative Tentacles)

Wednesday, Aug 29 2007

One would think all the humidity, sweat, and hick violence of non-tourist-approved Florida would've produced a number of classic-era punk bands, but nay. There were a few obscure ones, however, and the Eat was probably the best — as evidenced on this two-CD comp. From 1978 to 1985, the South Florida band slapped together the sloppy-drunk savant soul of the Midwest greats of the time (Gizmos, Panics) and the jangly psych-garage roots of the Texas needle-poked arm of the genre (Really Red, Neckbreakers). The Eat also possessed that charming knack for matching woozily witty put-downs with head-bopping hooks, a kind of bawdy barroom attitude integral to most Yank punks of the era, but lost on whatever is considered punk today. Of course the Eat could also slay with a fury: Its classic '79 single, "Communist Radio"/"Catholic Love" — included on the first disc, along with the band's other studio releases and demos — holds up as fuming of the first order. The all-live second disc (including four surprisingly punchy '96 reunion tunes) revs up most of the songs on the first disc, plus some other yuks and covers, like the piss-take on "We're an American Band." They certainly were. This is the sound of '70s-end, drunken, bored youth, from a corner of the States that never really seems like America.

About The Author

Eric Davidson


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