Friday, February 1, 2008

Great moments in art history: Predator

Every now and then someone will be over at my house who has never seen my record collection, they will look through the now paired down collection and inevitably find the same record in the collection that so many others have found before. Their reaction to said record is always the same, "Uh-oh, what is this?" The record is "Easy Prey" by the band Predator, and it was put out my Metal Blade Records in 1985. Much like dog's sniffing each other's buttholes, a record collection can give great information to people about who you are, and I kinda wonder what this record says about me.

Though there are certainly more offensive record covers (like the Meyhem album cover depicting the band's singer, who went by the name "Dead", after he shot himself in the head) there is something so crude, so cheap, so badly done, and so offensive about the Predator cover that it will certainly get your attention, and stay with you. No, it's not a Meat Shits album, which seeks out to shock in a childish fashion, this is far scarier. These guys thought, it would appear, that what they were doing was within the boundaries of semi-good taste, and well within the realm of Twisted Sister style, lightweight shock.

Much like significant works of architecture and literature produced during the height of the postmodern movement in those individual arenas, this album features one of the primary points that is identified in the influential text The Postmodern Condition, as being crucial to the postmodern milieu, that of self-reference. Not content with merely naming their band after a sexual offender, the band went a step further and referenced that very moniker in the title of their album "Easy Prey". Beyond this, the first song on the album is the title track (as Roger Miret of Agnostic Front will tell you, "title track" means that the song has the same name as the album.)

The album sleeve itself shows two phases of the same event. The cover depicts an ample hipped girl, who is supposed to look like she's walking but in reality is clearly standing still. By the way, an old photographer's trick is to have models rock back and forth on their feet, which makes it look like they're walking when photographed. In any case, the young lady is walking down the beach, while a....well, a predator hides behind a supporting pylon for a pier. You have have to admire the care and bravado that went into the predator's outfit. Sporting a freshly torn t-shirt and jeans, extending his hand in a menacing manner (while wearing white pantyhose on his head) the man certainly looks creepy. And insanely stupid. In the distance, we see a fat dude swimming in the ocean, while a discarded box of film lays near the foot of the predator.

The back cover of the album shows the man, now unmasked, with the hefty girl over his shoulder like a proud hunter. The man now has a knife in his hand, which was nowhere to be seen on the cover. It's also on the back cover that the band proudly credits the photographer (Karen Torfin-Faile) and the model (Jill Kerr).

Aside from the spelling errors in the record's insert (most notably the word "trigger" which is spelled "triggre") the most telling detail has to be the lyrics to the album's title track. The fact that they went as far as writing a song about this subject, makes it seem like they were perhaps dangerously close to doing the first ever concept album about rape, a possibility that no doubt went through their clouded, white-trash brains. Here are some of the song's lyrics:

I sample a different woman every night
They strut around so enticing, it serves them right
Follow her home, until she's alone, and then I strike
Oh when they bite and fight back it excites me so much
But I can tell that she wants it, as I ravage her body completely

I don't want to get overly political about the insanity of these lyrics, so I wont. But needless to say, these lyrics are not only troubling (to say the least) they are also poorly written. I would like to comment on what the music on this album actually sounds like, but I have honestly never heard a note on the record. And why would I? I bought the stupid thing merely because I knew that if I didn't have it, and I told people about the cover, they wouldn't believe me unless I had proof. Now I have the proof, and now I'm telling you about it.


  1. The bit I like best was how you call out their inability to spell "trigger", and yet the album cover with the dead singer is by "Meyhem"...or Mayhem even...

  2. i find it hilarious how Anonymous forgot to capitalize the pronoun "Dead" while he/she was in the midst of calling you out on misspeling "Mayhem" while you were calling out Predator for misspeling "trigger". unless, of course, by "the dead singer" he/she was referring to Jerry Garcia. and if that is the case, i will hitherto commence to guffaw obseenly.

  3. The knife is in his left hand and concealed by his body and the giant wooden pile.