Industrial pioneers Skinny Puppy are my Beatles. Don’t let the lame genre tag throw you off. There is a lot more musicality than you might expect on SP’s third post-reunion album. Digital recording (not to mention years of experience) have cleaned up the band’s sound. They’ve kicked a lot of drugs, ground through a lot of pain, and recorded a lot of records:
Many critics say the kindler, gentler, unthroat-throttled moments are the best of the reformed SP. Songs like “Ashas” and “Wavy” have me agreeing with them for the first time. It has taken twenty years but Ogre is finally comfortable with his own voice. The distortion has mostly been dropped from Cevin Key’s synth and drum treatments so his wizardry, once hidden, can shine through.
What it sounds like the band is phoning in are the noisy parts. They can’t rip the top off it anymore, and sadly, the songs attempting to be the wildest are the mildest. It’s funny how life is.
With dupstep becoming its own full blown genre, it’s good time to look back to the beats that made it all possible. What does it mean when drum machines and keyboards are old school? Thudding dub glory was never bleaker than Scorn, aka Mick Harris, who after walking from the behind the kit of death metal stalwarts Napalm Death decided make these sonic cumulonimbus clouds. Beats of doom? Yes.
Later, hipsters figured out how to combine a laptop and a turntable just like a they did a thrift store bike frame and a fixed gear hub. The rest is history but Evanescence has become something of an underground electronic classic, especially when paired with its companion remix album Ellipsisfor which Harris dialed up the snootiest of his UK electro pals: Autechre, Coil, Scanner, etc.
Dreamspace (Coil mix) sample
I have a fantasy in which at least one fan of the band Evanescence mistakenly takes this album home only get Harris’ astral concrete poured over their head. That’s the fantasy but in reality they might like this album, and so might you.
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