Poison - Poison'd! Review

by Dan MacIntosh

I can't think about the band Poison without also chuckling over a favorite college memory. One day, Poison decided to do a free show at my university -- even though the punk band X was more of Cal State Fullerton's OC punk style. We were hip college students, after all, not dropout glam boys and girls! Anyhow, the band drew a laughably small crowd, even though its stage was huge and imposingly stadium sized. The band members were grumpy and complained from the stage that nobody was "getting into it." But what did Poison know, right? They were at the wrong place, at the wrong time. It was a no win situation, poor fools.

Every rose may have its thorn, but not every pair of ears has a soft spot for Poison's just-average and annoying glam-metal rock. Even so, it's hard to find fault with this all-covers CD. New takes on David Bowie ("Suffragette City"), Sweet ("Little Wily"), and The Rolling Stones ("Dead Flowers") reveal that Poison has good taste after all. Wow! Who knew?

Granted, Poison will never be a glam great like Bowie, or even a second rate one, like Sweet. But these sacrificial offerings to their heroes aren't half bad -- even though they're played almost exactly like the originals. But there are still a few new wrinkles. The fun begins with The Cars' "Just What I Needed", which adds a little dirty guitar to an otherwise overly sanitized New Wave hit. Furthermore, Poison doesn't embarrass itself on the country-ish "Dead Flowers". They can't really play country, but they fake it well.

This CD will not change Poison haters into spandex-wearing lovers of the band. But it may just soften your hardened resolve against the group. They will never be cool. But they have a way cool record collection, which is never a bad thing.

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