Poison Idea - "Darby Crash Rides Again - The Early Years" CD Review (Southern Lord) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Poison Idea - "Darby Crash Rides Again - The Early Years" CD Review (Southern Lord)

"We were going to write some self-righteous diatribe about the 'good old day' - but those days weren't good - we were pissed off then and we are pissed off now - go die. Positive = Boring"
- from "Darby Crash Rides Again" 7" inner-sleeve

Poison Idea - 'Darby Crash Rides Again - The Early Years' CD Review (Southern Lord)Portland hardcore stalwarts Poison Idea are the beast that will never die. While guitarist “Pig Champion” died in 2006 and one-time drummer Steve "Thee Slayer Hippy" Hanford was arrested for a string of pharmacy robberies in 2008, the band continues to soldier on under the leadership of vocalist Jerry A. Poison Idea made their recorded debut in 1983 with “Pick Your King”, a 7” (which was issued with a two-sided cover showing Elvis on one side and Jesus on the other) that blasts through thirteen song of hardcore fury in sixteen minutes. While this was one h*ll of a debut, Poison Idea reached further back in their catalog in 1989 and released a 7” of 1982 demos entitled “Darby Crash Rides Again” (American Leather Records) which was clearly influenced by The Germs in both sound and lyrical outlook.

Southern Lord will be reissuing a number of Poison Idea titles this year on CD and the first of these, Darby Crash Rides Again: The Early Years, comes out on January 30th. This disc contains twenty-nine tracks (53 minutes) from the band’s earliest days, the 100% previously unreleased Boner’s Kitchen demo from 1981, the complete "Darby Crash Rides Again" demo from 1982, the complete uncut live-on-the-air set from the 1983 KBOO radio benefit, and outtakes from the Record Collectors Are Pretentious Assholes recording session. Much of this material has either been out-of-print or never before officially released! All the recordings have been meticulously restored and mastered by Jack Control at Enormous Door Mastering. The booklet contains liner notes, old flyers and tons of previously unpublished photos from the band’s beginnings.

Poison Idea - 'Darby Crash Rides Again - The Early YearsThe Boner’s Kitchen demos are similar to The Germs’ "What We Do Is Secret" EP as the band careens through six lo-fi hardcore blasts like a runaway freight train that is consistently on the verge on derailing. The tape is continuously rolling during this demo session so you can hear both bum notes and band dialogue between the songs. Prior to "Poser" kicking in, you can hear Jerry A., in a faux-British accent (similar to Darby's) say "Don't erase that, keep that". The eleven songs on "Darby Crash Rides Again" are similar blasts of hardcore fury that all clock in around the one minute mark. This recording has better sound quality and production (production is cheekily credited to Joan Jett, producer of The Germs' (GI)) than the 1981 demos but that doesn’t take away from or diminish the intensity of the band’s attack. The KBOO radio benefit is hilarious as the band plays a solidly sloppy set while alternatively threatening to stop playing if more pledges don’t come in and following that by threatening “if you don’t call in, we are going to keep playing this f@cking noise until it drives you crazy”.

Some songs are repeated between the four different recordings on this disc but that should be of little worry as I don’t think the band played any song the same way more than once. What is particularly enjoyable is the band’s deconstruction of the Lemmy-penned Hawkwind tune “Motorhead” which shows up in live in the KBOO benefit set and as an outtake from the Record Collectors session.

As Poison Idea seems to have fallen off the radar in recent years (due to infrequent touring and most of their discs going out of print at various times), this disc is essentially listening for fans of old school hardcore. After listening to this, I’m going to see if I can find my tape of the band’s 2002 CBGB show and ‘re-live’ the Poison Idea live experience.

Note: The CD reissues are coming out Southern Lord while TKO Records is handling the vinyl reissues.

Poison Idea