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POISON IDEA- Darby Crash rides again 7″EP (American Leather, USA, 1989)

pi_darbyfront.jpgpi_darbyback.jpgI was just about rippin’ & postin’ “Pick your King”, when I discovered that Niels has just recently posted it. I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the qualities of POISON IDEA’s first record the past years, asking myself, what it is that makes it such a force. Well, Niels revealed part of the secret: It’s the fact that it’s basically one big scratch (well, two, regarding the interruption of flipping it around). He called it a Hardcore Opera. You couldn’t say that better: You cannot break one song out of the ensemble. It’s one unit. That was also the case with “Kings of Punk”, if you ask me, and is again so with “Feel the Darkness”. These records are Operas. Simply put.
The guys from POISON IDEA were always very friendly when you ordered from them directly. They would include extras like stickers and, in my case, even a T-Shirt once. The only other band which included a free shirt that I remember would be the ACCUSED (thanks Blaine, so many years later); they too were from Seattle, accidentally.
Never would I claim that the group’s 1982 demo, featured here, was better than “Pick your King”, but what makes it great is that you can hear some of the songs in an earlier, slower stage. I’ve always found that quite interesting, hearing a band at work, so to say. But apart from that, there’s one moment on this 7″ that really really really has its very own qualities – and unfortunately this moment is cut in two! Side A ends with “Bounce the Rubble” and then fades in in the manic drums of “All right”. Fuck me Jesus, this is what I love about Hardcore! This insane economy! It takes so little and generates so much! Maybe this is the main difference between Metal and Punk: Both, at their respectice peaks, generate power, but one manages to do so with minimalistic input, whereas the other mobilizes the whole Wagnerian kitsch. Fuck, I dunno, I’m wasted right now typing this.
First time I came in touch with POISON IDEA was kinda late, in 1985, actually. It was either the contribution on Pushead’s “Cleanse the Bacteria” Comp. or the incredible rough mix tape of “Kings of Punk” (lost somewhen along the years; anybody still has it?). Luckily, it was no big deal back then to just pick up the earlier pieces – “Pick your King” was a downright shock to me and in some ways, it still is. After “Feel the Darkness”, I felt it couldn’t get any better again, so until this very day, I haven’t heard any POISON IDEA that came afterwards. Seen the band once (?) only and that was in Germany, circa 1990. Remember Tom “Pig Champion” sitting on a bunch of beer-crates during the gig and a roadie helping him geting up when the set was over. The concert was phenomenal; my head still aches from it.

Give it up.mp3
This Thing called Progress & In my Headache.mp3
Think Twice.mp3
Bounce the Rubble.mp3
All right.mp3
Pure Hate.mp3
Young Lord.mp3

Post scrotum: I have some things up on Ebay right now. Bid hard!


  1. would be awesome if you put a good decent bitrsate of kings of punk lp.
    it is a great lp by them.

    thanks a lot for all your posts


    Posted on 25-Oct-07 at 14:12 | Permalink
  2. Admin

    Jordan, “Kings of Punk” is available on Taang Records:

    If you don’t wanna buy it, I’ll rip it for you andsend it to you, physically, if you want, cause I know you like it physical. Just drop me a line.


    Posted on 25-Oct-07 at 14:34 | Permalink
  3. London

    Big thanks for this one (and all in general). I like this the best of all PI records. Just one question: Did you scan the front in b&w? All copies I’ve seen had blue rings.


    Posted on 26-Oct-07 at 01:24 | Permalink
  4. Admin

    London calling, ha. No, the scan is full colored for both sides. I’ve ordered this from Jerry when it was released and I’ve never seen another one, so I can’t say anything about the color. The vinyl is baby blue with white streaks.


    Posted on 26-Oct-07 at 01:27 | Permalink
  5. CHRIS_C

    this is new to me so thanks! ditto the nihilistics – even better than the album. while you’re right about feel the darkness, the later stuff definitely has its moments – we must burn has a couple of tracks that equal their finest, and some of the live gear rips it up with great aplomb.


    Posted on 26-Oct-07 at 01:58 | Permalink
  6. stinky82

    Well, I always download these tracks from various sources expecting much better sound quality than before 🙂
    This demo, “Pick Your King” EP and “Kings of Punk” LP are the best stuff they did, I think. Yes, and I wouldn´t forget to mention also great “Discontent/Jailhouse stomp” EP


    Posted on 26-Oct-07 at 05:50 | Permalink
  7. adamski

    Just a short note, Erich, to say that POISON IDEA were from Portland, not Seattle. Sorry to be so pedantic!


    Posted on 26-Oct-07 at 12:16 | Permalink
  8. Admin

    Of course, Adamski – thanks for correcting this. Maybe I confused PI with Nirvana. Haha.


    Posted on 26-Oct-07 at 12:26 | Permalink
  9. Eddie

    I was blown away when I heard Pick Your King EP, Kings of Punk LP, Feel The Darkness LP, and Blank Blackout Vacant LP. Record Collectors 12″ is good but not great and War All The Time was ok but not as good. We Must Burn LP is okay too but forgettable and their latest one before Pig died is pretty damn good!
    I got drunk with Slayer Hippy once and he looks much bigger than he does in the pictures!


    Posted on 26-Oct-07 at 17:40 | Permalink
  10. Marko

    My first exposure to Poison Idea, I believe was via various compilations and some old skate video. Was always very fond of the tracks on Cleanse the Bacteria but don’t remember if they were off the first lp or not. The only release I had ever owned was the War All The Time album on cassette. I can’t remember where I ordered it from (Alchemy Records perhaps??) but when I got it in the mail there was a thank you letter, about 10 dollars worth of stickers and another tape which was a compilation with Clown Alley, Sacrilege, Neurosis and a bunch of other bands.
    It was so much fun ordering records back then because it felt so much more personal and exciting to get this kind of stuff. I ended up with quite a few pen pals just by ordering a few records here and there.

    These days it seems so distant and cold….I spent 200 dollars on records a month ago and somehow, a paypal receipt with thanks scribbled on it and two records missing, feels exactly the same as an Amazon Marketplace purchase for a bookcase without two shelves.

    Anyway looks I hafta save up for the Taang site, though I don’t plan on dropping 125 for the Getting The Fear lp.


    Posted on 03-Nov-07 at 00:14 | Permalink
  11. Droid

    More Poison Idea stories!


    Posted on 05-Nov-07 at 09:41 | Permalink
  12. Robert the Gimp

    Everything on this list is absolutely perfect. Poison Idea, Death (I haven’t heard that one since ’86 or so)…the only thing missing–well, maybe the only thing I can think of at the moment–is the Beatie Boys Pollywog Stew ep. That was great hardcore during the early days of my punk-inductment (is that even a word? I don’t think so). Anyway, thanks for the memories.


    Posted on 16-Nov-07 at 14:25 | Permalink
  13. gg allin

    i got pick your king from peter and the bootleg from you. you guys rock. and is the kings of punk lp that i can get remixed in any way? if so i’m not getting it. i don’t like remixes or fucking with the origional sound in any way.


    Posted on 03-Oct-09 at 05:45 | Permalink
  14. This is not a bootleg.


    Posted on 03-Oct-09 at 08:40 | Permalink
  15. gg allin

    no erich i meant that bootleg you posted that had plastic bomb on it. i know what this is. i’ve done my research. i maybe blind but that doesn’t mean i have a life.


    Posted on 03-Oct-09 at 10:27 | Permalink
  16. roswell47

    erich’s copy is a first press and the first press came with b/w sleeves, numbered out of 1000, with a different backcover than the following pressings. there were four pressings in total. aside of the first pressing i also have a signed copy (pig and jerry, numbered out of 80) of the fourth press, and that one has a blue ring – which the 2nd and 3rd pressing might have had, too.


    Posted on 03-Nov-09 at 20:42 | Permalink
  17. dewey.decimal

    Lucky enough to have grown up in PI’s hometown. My first intro to PI was also my first intro to hardcore. My friend was the second guitarist in Lockjaw. He took me to a Lockjaw rehearsal at the PI house. Both bands ripping in the basement. After much drinking, we loaded into Jerry A’s huge cadillac (or similar) and went into town so he could scare people. The best part was that I was just a stupid kid and PI didn’t even steal my beer.


    Posted on 13-Apr-10 at 03:34 | Permalink
  18. zach

    hey erich,
    thanks for the pressing info. let me know if that guy still wants to get rid of the Pick Your King 7″. you can give him my email. thanks.


    Posted on 22-Apr-10 at 18:25 | Permalink
  19. Clinton Chapman

    I might have a tape of the “king’s of punk” rough mix. I’d need to compare it. It also has two additional tracks that appear to be from the same session, one being listed as ‘town hall’ on some PI compilation CD(it’s a Pistols homage) and the other is a track that was later recorded for “War All The Time” LP.


    Posted on 24-Apr-11 at 05:14 | Permalink
  20. ENRICO

    i discovered poison idea through a friend in 83.. he taped me pick your king among other records.. at the time i thought thy were great but you know you flipped the cassette and there was the freeze.. the idea of punk rock opera sticks perfect for record collector.. i agree.. cool review


    Posted on 02-Nov-15 at 14:20 | Permalink

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