Album Reviews: August 2006


Poison - Re-issues - Look What the Cat Dragged In (1986)/ Open Up and Say...Ahh! (1988)/ Flesh and Blood (1990) (EMI) 31/07/2006

T: Here in Britain of course, this band is known primarily for their 1989 double whammy of "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" and "Your Mama Don't Dance". After that there was "Unskinny Bop" a year later and a plethora of less well known hits that graced the arse end of the UK top 40. I have to be honest and say that I remember only the latter three singles, so it's quite interesting to go back and re-evaluate.

N: Pretty boys (mmm maybe I should rethink this description). Memories are of an awful lot of glam, and concentration on overdriven guitar, but as for this album (Look What the Cat Dragged In), what is apparent is how much this band were influenced by grandaddys AC/DC. As for the album, not that impressive really.

T: Oddly enough, I thought, although it isn't really my bag so to speak, that it was bristling with the energy that only a debut album from a band in their youth can give out. I would imagine I'm going to prefer this one to the nest two albums but only time will tell...7/10

T: On to Open Up and Say Ahh! I wasn't wrong was I? The band seem to have metamorphosed at this stage into a stadium pomp-rock act by this album, licking the boots loyally of the newly promoted kings of the rock world, Guns N Roses, and the whole of America, as well as large portions of the UK, fell for it. That's not to say they sound like Slash and co all that much - it's more a hybrid of Def Leppard and Aerosmith for the most part. It's hard to take the band seriously, and as a result they're impossible to hate, so I suppose I should give them credit for that. And of course, "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" is still shit.

N: Now to MY opinion, this comes across as a more confident release, and one from a band who have learn their trade, complete with impact, they have suddenly become 3D - more lively, and certainly less like another band, and more like themselves (this IS Guns N Roses we're reviewing isn't it?) 7/10

T: The final piece of the jigsaw - Flesh and Blood. It would appear that this is where the band took their thorns in a slightly different direction by making a bunch of country and western songs and turning them into rock tunes. There are a few moments of triumph, such as the slide guitar soaked "Swampjuice (Soul-O)" and I must confess I always had a soft spot for "Unskinny Bop" (no idea why - I should have hated it), but too often they are bitten by the stadium rock bug again.

N: Now this is where we finally agree. Here we meet the cartoon element of Poison, a band who had become a parody of themselves. Their most successful album, from a group who have found their market, and as a result produced a hugely more commercial release. It reeks of rock 'n' roll cliches - guitars are squeaked and amps ramped to 11, but where is "Big Bottom" amongst these? Now this is REALLY odd, because I was going to say "Take a listen to "Swampjuice", where guitar skills are demonstrated to great effect and I think it was the video for "Unskinny Bop" you had the soft spot for.

T: In a nutshell, "Flesh and Blood" is a whole lot of fun. 8/10

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