Members of local band the Eat had one simple thing going for them (aside from chops and dexterity at their game): They didn't give a good goddamn about anything. The fact that record contracts and riches eluded guitar-wielding brothers Eddie and Michael O'Brien, drummer Chris Cottie, and the two tenured bassists Glenn Newland and Kenny Lindahl is one of those regional music tragedies. But as for fame... ha! Fuck fame, baby. The Eat were a powerhouse punk-rock band that was bred in the swamp and made music that nearly 30 years later still makes the rest of your record collection cringe in fear of being exposed for the piece of shit it is.
When Jello Biafra's Alternative Tentacles decided to put out its Re-issues of Necessity series, I was completely psyched. Since Biafra brokered the 1996 reissue of Scattered Wahoo Action onto a ten-inch plate via Dutch label Wicked Witch, the probability of his doing something larger has always existed. Such a project is finally seeing daylight on the band's new double-disc release, It's Not the Eat, It's the Humidity. On disc one, you get 30 tracks (in chronological order, no less): the "Communist Radio"/"Catholic Love" single, the God Punishes the Eat EP, the entire Scattered Wahoo Action cassette, and the Hialeah 7, plus other tracks recorded during that session. Wow. On disc two, you get 29 songs recorded live, four of which are from the Churchill's reunion show September 21, 1996. I was there, it was my birthday, and, Lord, was it good! The band revs up "M80 Ant Death" and does some evil renditions of "We're an American Band," "LA Woman," and "Wooly Bully." Some other nonstudio originals are thrown in the fray for good measure. It's sad that it took so long to come out, but forget it! This is a befitting tribute to the memory of Cottie, who sadly passed away in 2004.