The self-proclaimed “Kings of Punk” from Portland, Oregon’s blank, blacked-out vacancies have been making loud and fast-paced, pissed-off hardcore punk rock music for over 35 years.
Confuse & Conquer is the latest chapter in the P.I. saga, and in it we see the triumphant return of their late ’80s War All The Time-era guitarist Eric “The Vegetable” Olson. Songs like “Bog,” “Trip Wire,” and “The Rhythms of Insanity” bring back the feelings of darkness which have always been there for Poison Idea. “Dead Cowboy” is a different venture for the band, with singer Jerry A.’s vocals creating images of Leonard Cohen meeting Mark Lanegan on the set of a Tarantino film, with a little dead country twang.
The most dynamic track has to be “Psychic Wedlock,” which begins with a simple but beautiful piano piece leading us into a land of scary monster voices and probably serious subject matter.
“Hypnoptic”(sic) is another song on the album that was a bit of a surprise; it’s “Poison Idea lite,” with saloon keyboard and harmless female screams filling in the gaps between melodies. I believe their late guitarist Tom “Pig Champion” Roberts can be heard in the mix telling an oddball story.
This album is music for a beautiful disaster on a cold black afternoon. Turn it up!
Rating: 11 out of 12 cans of PBR!