1987: Poison Idea - War All the Time

Mixing metal and punk wasn’t innovative in 1987, but Poison Idea managed a classic album by adding some much needed intensity into the genre. Each song on War All the Time flows into the other in a natural sequence for maximum impact and the whole thing blows over before you know it, but everything stays in your head, banging against the walls of your frontal bone. All this makes a good album, but what turns War All the Time into an amazing album are the lyrics and their delivery.

The title is borrowed from a book of Charles Bukowski poems first published in 1984 (In 2003 it was also used for a different effect to name an album by Thursday) and it couldn’t be more perfect. Poison Idea, along with their Nazi-flirting neighbors in Lockjaw, were nihilist assholes who lived hard and hated virtually everyone who stood in their way. In the formative and proud years of 80s DIY culture they didn’t network, talked shit of other bands, and probably didn’t even share their amps; they have a nasty reputation they haven’t been able to live down or refute (after all, their drummer on WATT, Thee Slayer Hippy, was arrested in 2008 for robbing pharmacies). Bukowski, of course, was a drunken lout who did what he pleased, when he pleased, with whom he pleased, the rest of the world be damned while his typewriter revealed the sensibilities of life turning charcoal black and ashen before his eyes.

Taking malice and ill-will and transforming it into intense art is what Charles taught Poison Idea. Unlike the amateurish finger pointing, sloganeering, and confessional rants of their contemporaries, Jerry A took the negative side of the world around him and expressed it in detail, rendered with words that can be read in a universal manner, expressing everything trivial and worthy of our puke in a language better suited to talk about the beauty of life. It recalled Bukowski’s own work (although not his brilliance), describing the crappy world that went into his eyes. And those words remain as true to this day as the band’s riffs are brutal.


There’s a lot of good music out there, and it’s not all being released this year. With DeLorean, we aim to rediscover overlooked artists and genres, to listen to music historically and contextually, to underscore the fluidity of music. While we will cover reissues here, our focus will be on music that’s not being pushed by a PR firm.

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