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Having outlived several garage booms and countless other piqued peaks, the CHEATER SLICKS have stuck to their guns for nearly a quarter century. Seemingly always moving upwind, the band has never ceased its slow drag through the murky muck of rock’s underbelly. Their output falls within a long lineage of degenerative ruckus, rooted in the moment when the blues snapped and went rock & roll. There’s an element of punk abandon in there too, sure, but the Slicks deal in, as they say, the real junk. Our Food Is Chaos, recently released by Almost Ready, captures the band in its first incarnation, with ALLEN “ALPO” PAULINO (formerly of the REAL KIDS) on bass, making its first attempt to record an album with engineer BILL T. MILLER in 1989. Perhaps the band - guitarists TOM and DAVE SHANNON and drummer DAN HATCH - already knew that things with Alpo weren’t going to pan out (he would soon leave the band and be replaced by MERLE ALLIN, brother of GG Allin, before the Slicks decided a bassist was altogether unneccesary), as it’s unclear why they ditched these recordings, though several of them would end up on the Crypt Skidmarks comp. As it is, the tracks here show the band’s gnarly sound to already be in potent form. Indeed, if anything, Our Food marks the shape of Slicks to come. Here, the band has already found its footing and throttles forth with full exuberance and completely without restraint. On tracks like their cover of Murphy and the Mob’s ‘Born Loser’ and their own ‘Flashback,’ one can tell that Dana Hatch was born from the same greasy black lagoon that once birthed Lux Interior as he howls into his mic like a feral cat in heat. Similarly, on their version of ‘Please Give Me Something,’ Tom Shannon (I’m guessing) sounds positively possessed as he commands the band to ‘rock!’ and they follow orders.

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