'The Fatal Erection Years' is the second re-release from the extensive back catalogue of Portland, Oregon's Kings of Punk, Poison Idea. This time around covering the self released EP's, 'Pick Your King' and 'Record Collectors Are Pretentious Assholes', originally released on their own label 'Fatal Erection Records' in 1983-4.
Musically, continuing to epitomise everything that is punk with their belligerent, raw sound but showing on these EP's how their sound had developed from the 'Darby Crash' era, with the late, brilliant, Tom 'Pig Champion' Roberts' furious, blues/rock riffing becoming more prominent. The extra material consists of 'Live At The Met, Portland 1983' and four compilation tracks,' Laughing Boy',' Typical',' Die On Your Knees' and 'I Got A Right'.
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Originally featuring an image of Jesus on one side and Elvis on the back, 1983s 'Pick Your King' is thirteen furious paced chunks of punk excellence. This was really where their consistency of sound and style came together, picking favourites is an almost impossible task but for catchiness and sheer raw aggression' In My Headache', 'Self Abuse', 'Pure Hate' for me have the edge.
1984s 'Record Collectors Are Pretentious Assholes' opens up to a ferocious start that is maintained for the duration, starting with 'AA', a favourite track on this EP for me. Also a more distorted edge to the guitar sound starts to develop from this EP onward.
Other standout tracks are 'Rubber Husband' and the aptly named final track 'Time To Go'. Of the four compilation tracks, 'Typical' and 'Die On Your Knees' are particularly noteworthy tracks.
'Live At The Met, Portland 1983' is an excellent quality live recording, despite being a bit lo-fi, both from the production and the performance perspective. Opening with 'Dance Of Rage' this recording is a demonstration of how well they could 'cut it' live and in many ways their live material is better than their studio material just for the sheer energy and raw aggression that oozes from your speakers.
Add to this mix Jerry A's amusing between track banter and you have a strong sense of just what a larger than life character he was and continues to be. There are excellent live versions of 'Self Abuse', 'Louie Louie' also 'My Hard-on Withers In Your Face', mainly for its excellent audience participation and my personal favourite, 'Pure Hate'.
'Poison Idea' have influenced hundreds of bands over the years and will continue to do so. If you aren't old enough to own the originals, this is an essential addition to any Punk collection and if you are, then buy this for the extra material as you won't be disappointed.
It features forty-five raw, filthy tracks from one of the most influential American punk bands of all time. The poster/booklet also contains liner notes from Poison Idea vocalist, Jerry A and also photos and flyers from the band's history.
'The Fatal Erection Years 'is out on August 14th via Southern Lord.