13 May 2015
Poison Idea - Confuse And Conquer
The word legend is thrown at bands far too often, sometimes they do not deserve it; this is a case where they fully deserve it. Poison Idea and their album 'Feel The Darkness' is one of the most important albums I have ever heard. If I was to do a review for it, I would need to make a new mark; that album is as important as Frank Zappa 'Sheik Yerbouti' and Faith No More 'Angel Dust' in my musical journey through the years. Over the years, it has been an album I have went back to quite a lot; so to hear that there is a new album was something that I have been looking forward to. I know for some people it is that Poison Idea are not the same band since the sad passing of Tom 'Pig Champion' Roberts (RIP), but for me it feels right that the band are still going. For this type of band to still be contributing to live music and making albums/singles/EP's and still tearing the world a new arsehole on a regular basis, you have to tip your hat to their determination. It has been twenty five years since 'Feel The Darkness' (which was their third album) and nine years since their last studio album. I have a feeling that this album will sound like a punk bomb going off with all the violent after effects that come with that sort of cocktail - lets see if I am right.....
Starting the album off is with the fast and furious opening of "Bog", it is straight off the bat and full of venom and hatred for the world. It is a shot in the arm that the punk world sometimes need; it is an aggressive and strong opening, it hits all the points that are the calling card of Poison Idea - fast riff - check; brilliant solo - check; shouty vocals to jump around to - yes; all mixed together in a ball of spite to throw at the world - check, that is a great opening track for me. Next is "Me + JD" and there is no let up of speed, bile or hatred; it just floors the audience with the power of a explosion ripping through the speakers. It does not take any prisoners and it has no remorse to the world, it is a classic piece of hardcore punk/metal in the making, it does not sound dated and it sounds like it is ready for a fight. Track three "Psychic Wedlock" starts with a piano intro (much like "Plastic Disaster" from 'Feel The Darkness' that plays its part before the guitar rips through and we are back on familiar territory; I have to admit that I quite like the intro and when the riff kicks in, it feels strong and powerful. The slow breakdown in the middle of the song is brilliant and shows that everything does not need to be at a million miles an hour, but it is more than welcome when it does speed up. It is a brilliant number that keeps the good work going from the opening two numbers, it actually improves it as well.
"Hypnoptic" is the fourth track of the album, this one is not as frantic as the opening trio and has a slight old school Rock 'N' Roll feeling about it as the piano is brought back into the sound. There is also a hint of Fugazi in here as well, it is a good track that bounces along without detracting from the album in any form. "Trip Wire" brings back the speed to proceedings; with a sound that has been taken from them by the likes of Speedealer amongst other acts, it is another song full of energy and speed that it bounces along like someone who has ate too many chemicals and is racing the sun to the next day. I love the energy going from this song, it is perfect for releasing all that built up energy and the words which has a sense of dissolution about the place that the band are in can speak to anyone. "I Don't Know You" once more another pile of bile, aimed at someone who has ideas above their station, it is relentless and does not vary away from its path of destruction against the world. There is let up from beginning to end and it just keeps on going for the jugular. If you were expecting a rest bite with "Cold Black Afternoon", guess again; more speed-injected punk rock/metal violence that takes no prisoner for anyone. It is a great song and whilst it might not be as good as some of the others on this album, it is still one that proves that they have lost none of their energy or fury.
"The Rhythm's of Insanity" is the second shortest song on the album, it is certainly another fast and heavy number, it has a killer solo that opens the song. It is over a little too soon for me, but it is better to leave the crowd wanting more than to extend something beyond it's natural life-span; but the riff on here is really good, just a tad too short for me. After this "Dead Cowboy" starts off with a sound of the old west, it is slow and could have easily fitted in to the soundtrack for 'The Good, The Bad & The Ugly'. To say it stands out like a sore thumb on the album is an understatement, but it shows that not everything is going to be aimed at the jugular and that there is depth to the sound. It is a good song, but not one I would have expected to be honest - still nice to get surprises from a band. The penultimate track is "Beautiful Disaster" and it brings back the hardcore element to this record, another anthem for the disenchanted and my deity is it powerful - one of the best numbers of the album. Ending the album is "Reprise" which sounds like the ending to a nightmare, a lot of down tuned sound, noise, crashing drums and a piano to lead the way out of this record.
I think the best way I can describe this album is a welcome return - I have to be honest I had resigned myself to the fact that I would probably not hear a new album from Poison Idea ever again. It is not as grabbing as 'Feel The Darkness', but it does not try to follow the same path; in fact it does what every Poison Idea album has done for me - looks around and tries to make the world pay for being a bit of a shitty place at times. A great record by a legendary band, hands down and much like the album this review is short and to the point.
8 out of ten - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my money, time and heart
Top track - Trip Wire
You can purchase the album from Amazon here
You can follow Poison Idea on Facebook here
You can purchase the album via Bandcamp here
You can stream the album on Spotify here
You can stream the album via Deezer here
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