This Thing Called Progess Was The Right Idea
Hardcore punkers Poison Idea unleashed their own brand of raging brevity upon the world for 13 years before calling it quits, and what do they have to show for it? Only 18 studio albums, numerous compilation appearances, and artists from Nirvana to Napalm Death citing them as an influence. Now, in cooperation with Southern Lord Records, Poison Idea brings us The Fatal Erection Years, a compilation of their first two self-released records and a rare live album from a performance in Portland. They’re re-mastered, re-released, and still ready to slam.
The first 12 tracks comprise the 1983 Pick Your King EP, which famously featured a picture of Jesus on the front, and Elvis on the back. The re-mastering has helped substantially, bringing the DIY punk production of this 1983 record into the 21st century. The bass and drums, especially, are far more polished and audible throughout the compilation, lending much needed support to the angry blasts of “This Thing Called Progress,” “Pure Hate,” and the cheeky “(I Hate) Reggae.”
The next 12 tracks feature the reissue version of the 1984 Record Collectors Are Pretentious Assholes EP. The songs here run a little longer and incorporate elements of traditional rock, including the more melodic and adept bass playing of new member Chris Tense. Standouts here include the thrash-tinged “Rich Get Richer” and the sludge-y “Don’t Like It Here.”
The real treat on this record is the inclusion of a complete live performance from the band in 1983, Live At The Met. In addition to perfectly capturing the band’s raucous stage energy, it also leaves in singer Jerry A’s snarky stage banter, including “Don’t say any bad words, because you’re all being recorded for a live album!”, “By the way, we’re Adam Ant…” and a plug for the band’s upcoming show with then-unknowns Final Warning. Be sure to check out the band’s rendition of “My Hard-On Withers In Your Face” with guest vocals from a drunken fan.
The Fatal Erection Years is definitely aimed at long-time fans of the band looking for a fresh take on some of their favorite records, or who have been searching for Live At The Met, but fans of classic hardcore punk should find something they enjoy as well. If you like your music short and sour, you want Poison Idea.