I had been a huge fan of X for a long time and just gotten into The Blasters (on a related note, Los Lobos's La Bamba soundtrack was my favorite 11th birthday present) so I was totally primed for A Minute To Pray, A Second To Die which featured members of all three bands backing up singer Chris D. Unfortunately, finding that album took years (pre-internet).
I started a doom-punk band called The Hostiles, back in Boston and my singer had the album on CD. I borrowed it, put in my Sony disc man and before I even got to the subway, I was almost tripping on my jaw. Digging My Grave put chills up my spine in a way very few other songs ever had. The interplay of Steve Berlin's sax and DJ Bonebrake's marimba turned the punk blues into a swirling voodoo ritual. You won't often come across musical moments this exciting and unworldly. Chris has said his lyrics were inspired by various films, the books of Jim Thompson and James Cain, and a need to exorcise some demons (check out the great article/interview from Dangerous Minds). In eight tracks Chris D, John Doe, DJ Bonebrake, Steve Berlin, and Dave Alvin created a musical document that few have heard since it was released in 1981, but one that blows away so many other rockers.
And not taking anything away from the other line ups/albums. Flesh Eaters fans will tell you; this is a great damn band and they proved themselves over and over. A Minute To Pray, A Second To Die just has an x-factor that exists because of this magical mix of talents. And now that it has ben rereleased on CD and vinyl from Superior Viaduct and also on iTunes, it's time to get this album in your life if you've never experienced it before.
Digging My Grave
River of Fever
See You In The Boneyard