OUT FOR A KILL - The Poison Ivy (Crazy Love)
More Swiss rock and roll, this time from the surf-punk end of the spectrum. This Zurich trio has been plugging away for 20 years and "Out For A Kill" is their fourth album. You might expect with that sort of durability they'd make the most of every release and you'd be right.

The Poison Ivy play two sorts of music: 'Flat-Out Thrash Punk' and 'Surf' and there's lots to be said for their take on both. From the opening faux radio static of "Nothing Alright" and its ascent into downstroke hi-energy gutterpunk, it's apparent that they mean business.

Vocalist Mr Trash has a guttural bark that doesn't really allow latitude for ballads, but there is the odd (briefly) lighter moment like "I Never Believed" that reveals a propensity for hooks (albeit buried in thrash.) Mr Trash is no slouch on his rifferama either. When bassist Toti Delicious and drummer Nick Nitro get into lockstep, this is a well-oiled machine.

The c.v. brags about supporting the likes of Nashville Pussy and Backyard Babies. The former might launch a paternity suit or look over their shoulders, and at times The Poison Ivy put out enough energy to warm a small carbon emissions-laden planet. Australian fans of The Living End might wonder no more what their heroes would sound like if big-shot producers hadn't shaved off all the rough edges. Thrash is only rockabilly with the wheels jacked up.

The surf tunes - most notably "888" and a masterfully spikey "Ghost Riders In The Sky" - are like craggy atolls among a surging sea of monster tropical waves.

Sometimes the flat-out attack wears and while I ain't normally a big fan of Bowling Shirt Rock, this one hit the spot. The Poison Ivy also know not to spruce it up with too many chords. Production is just the right side of polished and 16 songs means the ride rarely gets boring.

If you were into the Swedish rock assault of the early '90s, this will probably find a home in your collection. - The Barman


 


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