Poison Idea

Confuse & Conquer

Written by: PP on 16/06/2015 22:33:37

Poison Idea should be a familiar name to anyone familiar with the early hardcore scene from the 80s. Their early material is largely considered seminal and iconic, given its uncompromising split between punk, hardcore and hard rock that took a slightly different approach than the likes of Black Flag and Bad Brains did back then. They officially disbanded in 1993 but have been playing shows intermittently since 1998, and even released a new studio album in 2006 ("Latest Will And Testament"). Nine years have passed since that record, so at this point you have to ask whether it's even relevant to have a new Poison Idea album release in 2015? Yet here we are with "Confuse & Conquer", that takes the dubious honor of being their seventh full-length overall, and only their second since 1993.

Much like their earlier records, Poison Idea doesn't give a flying fuck about what's going on in the hardcore and punk scenes in 2015 and choose to follow their own beaten path on the album, best exemplified by The Misfits-inspired weirdo track "Hypnoptic", or the classical piano opening to "Psychic Wedlock" that swiftly transforms into a classic old school hardcore track shortly after. The vocals are still as raspy as ever, staying true to the 80s tradition where having quite a bit of edge and raw power in that department was a must. Just look at OFF! today for close resemblance. Musically, the band still blend in rock'n'roll elements so in that sense they stick out from the hardcore crew, however, their music still sounds totally dated in 2015, especially because of the slightly lo-fi production that echoes their old school roots. Hardcore purists will, of course, find this a positive aspect, so your thoughts on the new Poison Idea album may entirely depend on whether or not you think the genre should never have changed since the first Black Flag release or not. The songs themselves are decent enough: "I Don't Know You" rolls along at a leisurely pace despite it's angry vocals, and "Cold Black Afternoon" shows what it means to shred them guitars. Best of all? There are no breakdowns because they weren't invented just yet.

In the greater scheme of things "Confuse & Conquer" is unlikely to make a big impact. It's going to be revered in the old school hardcore circles where change is the enemy, and unlikely to attract modern fans of the genre for other than feeling guilty over not being familiar with the origins of the genre. For those of us in the middle, it's a decent record, but let's just all agree that OFF! have written way, way better records than this lately.

6

Download: Me + JD, Psychic Wedlock
For the fans of: OFF!, Black Flag, The Misfits, The Germs
Listen: Facebook

Release date 07.04.2015
Southern Lord Recordings

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