By Euan McGuffie
“I’ve got the poison, I’ve got the remedy, I’ve got the pulsating rhythmical remedy. I’ve got the poison, I’ve got the remedy, I’ve got the pulsating rhythmical remedy”, gurned The Prodigy’s Maxim. As if you hadn’t heard him the first time. But if you have the poison it would be potentially beneficial to have the remedy at hand as well, that makes sense. Even if these lyrics don’t – make up your minds, what are you selling? The poison or the remedy, or cure? Yeah, cure is another word for that and so this Friday Feud brings us Poison v The Cure. Let’s get ready to rumble……
Round 1 – Glam-rock?
Have you ever seen a picture of The Cure? There’s more than just the jumpers, leggings and white hi-tops you remember. Sometimes they looked quite presentable. And everyone looks good in black. The one time The Cure did delve deep into their wardrobe in search of that new look what happens? Someone pushes them off a cliff into the sea where they tussle with an unpleasant-looking octopus that plays the trumpet.
Poison however were a different kettle of octopuses, as their (non)sense of fashion made apparent. It’s hard to tell who erupted first in the west-coast American glam-rock scene but I’d hazard a guess that Guns ‘N’ Roses’ glad rags were authentic hand-me-downs whereas Poison look like they tried to copy the look using Primark vouchers they got from their grannies at xmas. Might look like a bargain but one wash and it’s ruined, Bret.
ROUND 1TO THE CURE – they wear it well
Round 2 – Boys Don’t Cry
That’s right Robert Smith, boys do not. And not with that eye-liner anyhow. I don’t care if it’s Max Factor, inky rivers streaming down peely-wally cheeks does not a good look make. Though the make-up stood the test on the 90s re-release of ‘Close to me’ which was filmed entirely on location at the bottom of the English Channel.
I don’t find The Cure’s stuff depressing at all. Robert Smith doesn’t care much for the ‘goth’ tag being pinned on his band. “I just usually write when I’m depressed”, he said yesterday, over high-tea. I don’t know if you, like me, have ever composed (ha!) a choon on a battered old Fender Telecaster with the wee rubber bit missing off of the treble/rhythm switch, but if you listen back to the stuff you wrote when you were happy and content you’ll realize that it both sucks and blows. Something I didn’t think was physically possible.
Bret Michaels, you overly-sensitive, long-haired boy! Whereas Robert Smith is more likely to give it ‘whatever’ and head off round the bike sheds for a smoke, Bret reluctantly wakes-up with a sigh, dejectedly trudges through to the shower and probably weeps softly while the water plasters his locks to his shoulders…
A now-distant lover gives her own cold shoulder from beneath the silky sheets of the bed, which in the past has been the scene of lovemaking with a frantic vehemence but recently not so much, a bed for which he had actually paid for (leather no less, well she didn’t like the old iron-frame one as the neighbours could probably hear, man, who’d have thunk she’d be prudish) having been worn down finally in TJ Hughes after being dragged around Glasgow city centre to look at fucking furniture and clothes n shit. It’s time to man-up Bret. For the record, I’ve only ever cried in the shower once and that was when there was a big spider sharing it with me.
ROUND 2 TO THE CURE – for like, whatever, who cares?
Round 3 – Lovesong
‘Lovesong’ by The Cure is a song about love. No, really. These seemingly gloomy gusses wrote about it a lot. Check out ‘Friday, I’m In Love’ and ‘High’ for example. Hell, even Robert Smith’s cat was luv’dup. Smith is an old romantic I reckon, should write for Hallmark: “When I see you sticky as lips, as licky as trips, I can’t lick that far”, happy birthday.
Bret Michaels on the other hand clearly believes actions speak louder than words. How else can you explain him banging his way through tens of strumpets like a man possessed? I’m talking of course about the celeb-reality orgy that was ‘Rock of love’ where a smorgasbord of bemused and deluded airheads compete against each other for (exclusive) access to Bret’s junk. One word – hero. What I’d give for a piece of the action – screwing around on TV and getting paid for it? Hell, I’d even wear that bandana. No poetry here, only shameless debasing. Sir, I salute you.
ROUND 3 TO POISON – for doing what we all would given half a chance
Round 4 – Mint Car
“The sun is up, I’m so happy I could scream”, sang an insanely happy (?) Robert Smith on this single that I bought in the same week as Kula Shaker’s ‘Tattva on St Georges Day’. The former had more relevance though as I was living a glorious alcohol-filled summer in the heart of the west-end with a hot but timid girlfriend who would not for the life of me put-out. Still at least Robert Smith had fun as he hurtled through the English countryside with a posse of theatrical characters. In a minty-fresh, environmentally-friendly vehicle. I guess it was the same colour as these 3 wheeled contraptions you used to see behind the corner flags on Scotsport in the 80s.
Poison drove hot-wheel gas-guzzlers with flame-design paintwork, stolen from ZZ Top while they were distracted casing puggies in Las Vegas. Have you seen the start of ‘Unskinny Bop’? They even had a motorbike, I mean a hog, that looked like a taxi, I mean a cab. And they just left them with engines idling as they went inside to sing and dance with poorly animated neon female forms. Idling = pollution, which is not cool. Turn your engine off or get a minty fresh catalytic converter like The Cure.
ROUND 4 TO THE CURE – for having a better taste in wheels
Round 5 – Your Mama (don’t dance)
Them’s fightin’ talk Michaels. Your momma probably does dance, to the likes of Sweet Home Alabama or American Pie, in awful dives adjacent to Glasgow Central Station. We’ve probably all cowered behind a pint hoping she doesn’t catch our eye and ‘ask’ us to dance. Bret is a dancer, like his mama. Not a fighter, despite sounding like a wrestler.
Robert Smith is hard as nails. He’d interrupt 90s sketch extravaganza ‘The Mary Whitehouse Experience’ to chin Rob Newman for slagging him off. “It was Baddiel!” we’d all scream at the TV, in hope that the unfunny one would get his comeuppance. And you must’ve seen the episode of South Park where Robert Smith saves the Colorado town from destruction by Mecha-Streisand? BARBOORAH, BARBOORAH! The squawky monstrosity is no match for Robert Smith. And neither is Cartman; “I’ll rochambeau you for it” challenges Robert Smith. Square in the nuts!
ROUND 5 TO THE CURE – for kickin’ ass with their white high-tops
Aaaaand the winner is…..
The Cure. By quite a distance. Dominating in most categories, with only their moral integrity letting them down. So, if you find yourself unskinny, or if your thorny rose pricks you, just remember there is a cure……
You can follow Euan on Twitter@CptPopTrance as he discusses Alloa Athletic, Music and the pointlessness of humanity…..also Cider.