The Fatal Erection Years
Southern Lord have come up with a treat on this monster collection of early Poison Idea, that collates their ’83 debut ‘Pick Your King’ EP, ‘84’s ‘Record Collectors Are Pretentious Assholes’ LP, compilation tracks, and then a 20 song live set from ’83, in their hometown, Portland, Oregon.
The 13 tracks on ‘Pick Your King’ barely shade a minute average running time and are plain fucken blitzkrieg, fire and anger, slashing guitar lines and in singer Jerry A’s a true heavyweight of boiling over barked belligerence…. a genuine classic record… then, now and forever. Period.
P.I. followed up with the snappily titled ‘Record Collectors Are Pretentious Assholes’ album, 8 tracks of ferocious heaviness that were a step up from their earlier material, and brutally fused the primal energy of The Germs, early ‘Flag, D.C. Hardcore, fused with the filth and power of Discharge and GBH. The encroaching shadow of Motörhead was never too far away, as a creeping metallic edge took root. And the cover of the LP was true a Punk collector’s wet dream, with a stack of guitarist Pig Champions prized vinyl on display.
The compilation tracks are ‘Laughing Boy‘ from the ‘Drinking is Great’ EP, and P.I.’s 3 tracks from the Pushead compiled ‘Cleanse The Bacteria’ album, a 1985 collection of new/fresh worldwide Hardcore. Their ripping Stooges cover ‘I Gotta Right’ was included on a bonus 12” that accompanied the first pressing. I’ve still got mine, righteous vinyl!
And, to close, a live set that is just what you’d hope P.I. would be nailing it like in ’83, rabid and pissed, hateful and loud. It ends with one of my favourite songs ‘Marked for Life’, that would eventually surface on the ‘War All The Time’ album, in ’87.
No shit, this remains some of the most raging Punk committed to vinyl, and the legend of these hallowed records continue to be passed to subsequent generations of young Punks. They’ve suffered tragedies, bust-ups and mishaps along the way, but singer Jerry A is still out there doing it. Not giving it up.
WORDS: PETE CRAVEN