POISON IDEA: The Fatal Erection Years 1983-1986: LP

Early Poison Idea is pretty damn near unimpeachable in my book, so if you’re new to Portland negativity or don’t have five hundred or more bucks laying around to get the Pick Your King 7” or Record Collectors Are Pretentious Assholes EPs, TKO’s done a nice service for you. Sounds great, looks great. Live and comp. tracks are pulled in to fill out both sides of a long-player. There’s honor in keeping the legacy alive. What’s new and interesting are Jerry A.’s liner notes. They clear some things up. He admits to PI being a product of their environment, that they were drawn into the most negative aspects of L.A. punk—both the music and the people—and that they tried to outdo their contemporaries. Basically, outpunk the punks. It’s an honest reaction. It explains both what makes Poison Idea’s music so believable: their rage, their damage, their directness. They were fucked up kids who became fucked up adults playing ugly (a compliment) music. It also admits one of the great shames of the first wave of hardcore, where Jerry reconciles that “being creative, smart, and having any kind of sympathy toward your fellow man was not allowed.”

 –todd (TKO)