Fortune's Flesh
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Fortune's Flesh

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The best kept secret in music


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Feeling a bit camera shy


Out of the perpetual wake of THE STARVATIONS December 2005 public execution now comes FORTUNE'S FLESH, a true instance of life after death as well as their namesake's definition of "the embodiment of uncertainty". Starting where THE STARVATIONS left off (perhaps most notable on their song "I'm Only Like This With You") but aiming to quickly evolve into their very own "death doo-wop" fruitions, FORTUNE'S FLESH is the royal continuum of singer/guitarist/main songwriter Gabriel Hart's distinct bloodshot vision but this time it highlights harmonies of the backing vocal trinity of Ian Harrower (now on bass), Vanessa Gonzalez, and GUILTY HEARTS frontman Leon Catfish. With this, for all intents and purposes "new" outfit rounded out by Dave Clifford, now on drums (as we're more accustomed to him from his PLEASURE FOREVER, RED SPAROWES banging), FORTUNE'S FLESH proceed to take some of the best qualities of The Starvations 10 year legacy but manage to break the mold for good, allowing some of the more unpredictable if not otherworldy ingredients to leak into this already boiling pot.

"From time to time a singular band unequivocally represents a time period and place like no other (personally, no band represents late ‘60s New York better than the Velvet Underground or summed up mid ‘60s Los Angeles like the Byrds). As a rabid 18-year-old audiophile I hoped to live through such a time. Unfortunately I was pessimistic and pumped up on Jon Savage’s England’s Dreaming; sure the odds of a current band of that stature existing were as likely as the resurrection of F. Scott Fitzgerald. A couple years later my buddy Jeff slipped me a copy of the Starvations’ Get Well Soon. That was it. I bought it. I was blown away with the knowledge that a band of such artistic magnitude existed in my area. The songwriting blew my mind like the first time I heard Captain Beefheart. Lyrically, it just summed up Los Angeles, with opener “This is What You Wanted?” building upon Nathanael West and John Fante’s promise that one day the City of Angels is just going to cave in. Further on, Gabriel Hart explored similar scenarios of degradation; I was immediately smitten by the seemingly easy, yet impossible to pen lines of the album (you try coming up with a chorus equivalent to “Red Wine for Blue Boy”). Musically, the album was as rich as anything I had heard in a decade, with Jean-Paul Garnier’s bass work and Vanessa Gonzalez accordion/piano playing particularly enticing. Get Well Soon came out in 2003. I wrote it up for some magazines and praised the hell out of it. Unfortunately, the Starvations was bursting at the seems; within a year Jean-Paul Garnier and Ryan Hertz (lead guitar) were out of the band. The Starvations rebuilt with Dave Clifford (Pleasure Forever) on bass and Leon Catfish (Guilty Hearts) on lead guitar, carrying on the band’s hallmark of strong musicianship. At about that time, Gravity’s a Bitch came out (recorded with the original lineup). Like Get Well Soon, it was one of the best albums of the year. The new band toured in support, but noticed a different sound developing. The band harvested it and came up with something new: ergo Fortune’s Flesh. Fortune’s Flesh is a continuation of the Starvations’ well-established, formidable legacy. The band combines Hart’s familiar macabre narratives with the evolution of what the band has dubbed “death doo-wop” harmonies. At the time of this writing, Fortune’s Flesh has yet to play live (something I’m not so patiently waiting for), but I can attest to how incendiary the new lineup sounds from their last shows in support of Gravity’s a Bitch. In a sea of insipid bands, the Starvations provided refuge. Fortune’s Flesh will do the same. Los Angeles’s musical heart is beating once again." - Ryan Leach, Razorcake