Fleshies, a loud band, started playing together in 1999 in beautiful Oakland, California. The band’s involvement in the east bay area collective S.P.A.M. Records provided for a convenient label to release some early 7″ records, cassette-only releases, and a (long out-of-print) self-titled “demo” CD. A penchant for songwriting, constant shows, and generally keeping busy made for a ridiculous amount of productivity from a weird punk band, and a number of records soon followed. The album “Kill The Dreamer’s Dream” came out on Alternative Tentacles in 2001. Fleshies released a 10″ picture disc/CD, “The Game of Futbol”, on Billie Joe Armstrong’s (Green Day) Adeline Records in mid-2002. “The Sicilian”, again on Alternative Tentacles, quickly followed in early 2003. This put Fleshies in the decidedly odd position of having new records out simultaneously on record labels run by the most longstanding, iconographic figure of underground punk (Jello Biafra) and by the one individual arguably responsible for punk’s most widespread mainstream recognizance (Billie Joe Armstrong). Rather than developing a business plan and jumping on the gravy train of opening slots for high-profile “punk” bands (with a few one-off exceptions), Fleshies continued their already-established pattern of body/mind-warping worldwide marathon tours – mostly in the same basements, warehouses, squats, and really sketchy bars they’d been playing since 1999, albeit at slightly more packed-out shows.
At one point in early 2004, a short time after playing 133 shows in 131 days, Fleshies added a 5th member (Brian Plaskett), released a CD-only compilation of old b-sides called “Gung Ho!” on Life Is Abuse Records, and proceeded to withdraw into the dark warehouse cave of drummer Brian Hamiltron’s Sugar Mountain Studios in Oakland to work on a new record. They decided to break the punk rock tradition of banging out a new record in 5 or 6 days, and a damned sweet time was taken in order to make the most ridiculous album possible. They pushed 1975’s most cutting-edge recording technology to the max, manipulating 8-track half-inch tape machines, breaking tens of dollars’ worth of expensive vintage equipment, and battling cabin fever while living off of hydrogenated oils and other psychoactive substances. After a year and a half they emerged, scraggly, mean, and old, with a new record, back on Alternative Tentacles Records. “Scrape The Walls” is a spirited effort to molest punk rock in a similar manner that SPARKS unwholesomely molested glitter rock in the 70’s. Appropriately enough, the album includes a cover of Sparks’ “Happy Hunting Ground”, with Jello Biafra on guest vocals. Fleshies, being gluttonous for punishment, will likely be beating the shit out of themselves on tour again very soon.
“Fleshies=Irrepressible. Like monkeys on a simian vandalism binge, Fleshies (no preceding “The”, thanks) are too manic to see the line between polite and psychotic – Or maybe they intentionally ignore it. Either way, they are, as one lyric puts it, ‘locofoco motherfuckers.’ What they are not is a crew of stylistically strangled retropunx. Or posturing rock gods, waiting patiently for their set to end so they can scam starry-eyed groupies. No, Fleshies are, simply, a force of Id. The audience’s choice is to either ride their tide or step aside.” –JG, Willamette Week