Compilation of flexis and 7"s from this metallic Japanese hardcore punk band who would later become Poison Arts. This LP compiles the S/T 7" flexi, Mystery Temptation 7", and the Hot Rod 7".
毒 Records - Singapore 175 copies.
Our take: Unofficial reissue compiling a flexi and two 7”s by this Japanese band, the latter two featuring Chelsea of Death Side / Paintbox on guitar. While Poison (who later changed their name to Poison Arts) would eventually have an extensive discography, these earlier releases find the band experimenting and developing their sound. Their first flexi (recorded before Chelsea joined the band) is one of the most primitive Japanese punk records out there, with beyond-basic oompah drumming, rough sound and a noticeably out of tune performance. While the record has a cool cover featuring the singer’s huge mohawk, it reminds me more of bargain-basement UK82 punk than the more studied, avant-garde primitivism of Confuse or Gai. Things get much more interesting on their second EP, Mystery Temptation, when Chelsea joins the band and drenches every song in his trademark shredding lead guitar. Even beyond Chelsea’s contribution, you can hear Poison homing in on the classic Japanese hardcore sound, with some tracks leaning more toward melodic hardcore (not unlike Chelsea would later explore in Paintbox) and others with a more metallic edge. There are some great moments on Mystery Temptation, but I think what I love most about it is how it sounds not-quite-right, like a band taking chances and inventing a new style on the fly. If you’re deep into Japanese hardcore, you have a few quirky records like this in your collection, and if you have developed the taste for it, this kind of record provides a fix you can’t get anywhere else. Finally, the band’s third 7”, Hot Rod, takes up the entire b-side of this collection and finds the band locking into a consistent style. While the reverb-drenched production isn’t as powerful as the bigger sounds that some of these bands would get later on, if you’re a fan of Death Side, Lip Cream, and Gudon, Hot Rod is in that same vein. While this collection is a mixed bag, I love hearing how the band progressed, and if you enjoy hearing all the strange, unique Japanese hardcore records out there, I’m sure you’ll love it too.