Poison Idea: Confuse And Conquer

The kings of US punk return on blistering form

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Nine years have passed since the last Poison Idea album and, more poignantly, the death of guitarist Pig Champion, which means that Confuse And Conquer is a comeback of sorts.

These bug-eyed veterans have inspired countless bands over the last three decades and been covered by the likes of Pantera and Machine Head, but far from being a nostalgic lap of honour, these songs reaffirm the ageless power of Poison Idea’s ferocious, muscular brand of flat-out, three-or-four-chord mayhem.

Close in feel and fury to 1990’s Feel The Darkness, powerhouse snotfests like Bog, Psychic Wedlock and Trip Wire amount to a sustained barrage of six-string overdrive, underpinned by the kind of feral energy that bands of this vintage seldom muster. Meanwhile, the mid-paced garage rock shuffle of Hypnotic exudes an endearing swagger redolent of The Saints at their shambolic best.

There are countless irresistible hooks here, an abundance of passion and the sound of scabby-knuckled lifers returning to teach the young pretenders what punk rock is supposed to sound like./o:p