As Poison's albums get remastered, I've been enjoying a ride back through my younger and wilder days. When this one came out in 1990, I was in college and ready to live the party that Poison had sung about on their previous two releases. I mean, I was ready to go before we had decided where to go.
So maybe that's why it took me a while to get into this release. The band starts the release off with blues. Blues? From POISON?! What the hell? Then they jump into the weak "Valley Of Lost Souls," travel their way through the title track, and go bluesy yet again before getting to "Unskinny Bop," which brings a somewhat familiar air back to the proceedings.
I thought "Every Rose Has A Thorn" was bad, but "Life Goes On" is even worse. The lyrics are terrible: "Life goes on / while you're miles away / time goes on and night steals the day and there's nothing I can do." <shiver> Crappy lyrics and an even crappier guitar solo that is devoid of intelligent design make this song the worst one of Poison's entire career. Thankfully, it didn't make their greatest hits package.
"Ride The Wind" on the other hand has it all. This track sounds like the band from 1986 that we're used to. I should point out that bands don't have to stay in the same rut, but if they are going to change they should make it good. That said, this is a positive change, with an interesting guitar riff and a pleasing song structure, not to mention energy.
Of course, it doesn't last. "Don't Give Up An Inch" is more fodder for all those that diss Poison as a crappy band. Quoting the "Mary Mary quite contrary / how does your garden grow" nursery rhyme is insanely ridiculous. The a cappella intro to "Let It Play" is another low point, but the closer "Poor Boy Blues" shows the band's bluesy ideas come to fruition, and it's much better than the other crap.
The remastered version of this includes an acoustic version of "Something to Believe In" with totally different lyrics,which I enjoyed, as well as an instrumental demo of "God Save the Queen," which is good but makes me wish Bret Michaels would have recorded vocals for it. I would have liked to hear him sing a punk song.
In short, this release takes a long time to get going and even when it does, it doesn't satisfy me, a hardcore Poison fan. Skip this one.