ORGAN THING: Poison Idea’s Jerry A Lang channels a whole load of wholesome hardcore punk rock, some Motorhead, Tom Waits, Americana and a touch of Syd Barrett on his first rather impressive solo album…

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Jerry A Lang – From The Fire Into The Water (American Leather Records) – Now we’re motoring! Yeah yeah, I know, I’ve used that line, blatantly stolen off John Peel as he introduced that Doctor And The Crippens session, i know I’ve used it before, but we are seriously motoring this time! We had a taster the other day, the whole thing has now landed, the whole new album (an album that came out right at the end of 2022). You never quite know though do you? You never quite know with solo albums from people who’ve done great things in great bands, that one track the other day, those punk rock Everything Must Go flavours – yeah, obscure reference I know but we did release that glorious I hate Music single here on our label and it was one of the finest American hardcore punk rock ‘n roll releases ever and yes it does feel like Jerry A is coming from those same righteous areas here. Actually, This is just what we want from a Jerry A Lang solo album, his first ever solo album.      

He might have been the voice as well as the attitude fronting one of the best hardcore  punk rock bands ever, but Jerry A Lang has managed to build a strong reputation outside of his activities as the lead vocalist of Poison Idea, he’s been collaborating with everybody from Soft Kill to The Ransom, he describes his process of work with other artists as something natural, “I totally get off on throwing ideas off others and creating. Sometimes it’s just natural, It comes easy and if feels like you can do it in your sleep”.

Now I haven’t properly read the press release yet but this really doesn’t feel like a one session one idea kind of thing, it doesn’t feel like one body of work, one focussed idea, one recording session, not that it doesn’t work as one whole thing, it most certainly does, let’s make this clear from the off, this is a damn fine punk rock ‘n roll album that works as one whole thing.This is no scatter gun dogs dinner thrown together, it does sound like he’s pulled in flavours from all over the place though, it does sound like a collection of songs and collaborations from a  lover the place. one minutes he’s channelling a punked up (early) Motorhead, this throw out a whole load of wholesome poison ideas, motoring as it were and the next he’s drinking whisky with Tom Waits or touching on Damned flavoured new wave or reaching back and hinting at a purer form of Rock ‘n roll.      

“There are many bands, each one sounds completely different…” – admits Jerry A, talking about various projects of his. Despite the glory of being a founding member of Poison Idea, the vocalist has made successful career as a member of various projects and active collaborator. Crime Scene from Belgium that gets influences from Bay-Area thrash-metal scene. Savage Beat from Amsterdam, with obvious rock-n-roll influences. Big Stick – ‘Skinny Puppy meets Cramps. Lee Hazelwood, Motorhead, a BLITZ cover sung by Joy Division’ – explains vocalist adding: “It’s a crazy mix of what I consider the best music around”.

it could have gone a number of ways, I mean, I don’t know how old Jerry A is now, but we’re not talking teenage punk rock anger any more are we? His first solo album, it could have been the tired work of a faded old fart chasing former glories, a washed up past-his-sell-by-date once admired whatever – what do we call Jerry A? Surely he was never a rock star, not ever a punk rock star? Nah, he was always one of us, a  little more famous maybe but there was never any of the trappings of a rock star around Jerry A Lang. it could have gone many ways, we get these things in the post all the time,  people from once great bands who don’t know when to stop, people chasing it one more time, things we politely park over there and quietly hope no had noticed we’ve ignore it. It could have gone that way, it didn’t! Hell no! Listen to that! I love this album, Listen to the Overkill of it all, a Motorhead reference rather than referencing the band of the same name. Fear not people, this has very much gone the right way, this is Jerry A growing old disgracefully, this is the sound of Jerry A. Lang blasting it! This is how a middle age hardcore punk rocker should sound. That song Ladybird, recorded with Jenny Don’t & The Spurs is jsut right in the middle of it all.

We’ve got a whole load of wholesome flavours here, the punk metal lines of bands like AntiSeen, Blitz, hints of The Cramps, X, hang on, I know that song, isn’t that Syd? Jerry A does Syd Barrett? Really!? Who’d have thunk it! A rather fine version of Late Night and yes, it does work, it really does work!   

“I was asked years ago to sing on a Dare To Defy song, a cover of an old punk band YDI. That came out as a single. It came and went. The Hard-Ons from Australia asked if I would write a song with them. They wrote the music – I wrote the lyrics. It was brutally good. People in America never heard it because it was on a European label. Other bands, other releases….” – he talks of the album as something of a “rebirth” after Poison Idea went on hiatus a few years ago and yes it probably is, you certain need to take him seriously as a solo artist, you want to hear more, what will he do next? This album feels like a collecting of things from over here or over there, what will he do next, I;m kind of intrigued, kind of want to hear where’s he’s going to take it, From The Fire Into The Water is an album that demands you take his solo career seriously   

“When a child comes into this world, the nurse slaps it on the ass to force it to take its first breath of air. The baby screams. This is my first scream in this new world”.  This is a damn fine first scream, bring on lots more, I love this record, this is Just where I wanted him to be, yes! Now we’re motoring!  (sw)


American Leather Records Bandcamp / This album

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