cherry garcia

THE EAT - live at the polish american club LP

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Compared to many of their “KBD classic” peers, The Eat has a relatively solid track record with their releases. Not only is “Communist Radio” an all-time mix tape/cover band staple, but its follow-ups, “God Punishes” EP, “Scattered Wahoo Action” cassette (reissued on 10” by Kangaroo Records), and even their much later “Hialeah” EP from ‘96, are all full of great songs. Their bar-band with a punk attitude aesthetic is captured candidly on this recording from 1981. In between songs, the band converses with the audience with bits of Florida sports current events, pleads them to keep the venue clean, and engages in some Lee Ving-lite taunting. The 16-song set list is picked from their releases, plus covers of “L.A. Woman,” “Wooly Bully,” Zappa, and a couple more along those lines. The sound is a little better than the average Rave-Up release, and the record is packed in a nice paste-on sleeve with a flyer insert, a couple of baseball cards, and a stamped inner sleeve. In the end, the album is interesting as a view of the times, but ultimately, there’s little need to hear this version of “Nut Cop” (for example) if you’ve heard the released version. Some of the magic from the official recordings are lost here and the songs are a bit more pedestrian than I’d hoped for. It should be noted, however, that this release was an obvious labor of love, and I wish more labels would deliver the goods in such a nice package.