REVIEW: Skinny Puppy – Weapon
By: Dennis M. Kelly
I have been a huge fan of Skinny Puppy since the 1988 album VIVISectVI and while the album did not win me over immediately, continual listens of the aural world they created within that work opened my eyes to a whole new level of what can be done musically.
Further explorations into their earlier catalog and following them since that time has influenced my life and even inspired me to create art based off of lyrical snippets and visions their sounds ignited within me.
One component that has been consistently true of the band since day one (back in 1982) is that they continually redefine their work from album to album in new and unexpected ways while holding true to their core sound that made them who they are. Their new album ‘Weapon’ continues to deliver the great electronic ‘goods’ with stand out tracks being wornin’, paragUn, survivalist and my absolute favorite, tsudanama, such a cool and twisted track that pounds and swirls through your mind.
Have a listen to paragUn right here:
Quite honestly, they really outdid themselves on this one and I was really surprised to hear an updated version of the Remission song, Solvent on the album. I think they did a great job sharpening the edges and refining the ‘feel’ of this great song. Also, I think it is a smart move on their part to potentially introduce new fans to their earlier work that they may not have heard yet and I love that they’ll bring out rare, early songs on their tours too that haven’t been played much. There is so much great music at their disposal and they do make great use of them.
Skinny Puppy always brings to light the issues people don’t necessarily like to think about but clearly exist either in the world or sometimes even within your very own soul. Whether the subject is experimentation on animals, addiction, and greed or in the case with this album, a philosophical examination that the human “animal” is a weapon and every thought or action has the possibility to do harm. This is just one example of what makes Skinny Puppy so great; they look beyond the obvious, at the core of the condition and expose the rawness to the world in amazingly creative ways that seriously boggle the mind.
My favorite designer, Steven R Gilmore (www.srgdesign.com) once again designs the album artwork and on the front cover is a spider made up of knives, guns and bombs and in my opinion; the whole album art compliments the music perfectly. It is sleek, sharp, and consisting of a strength of contrast, setting a very serious overall tone for the album.
I really don’t have anything negative to say about the album, I mean, Skinny Puppy have mastered their sound decades ago and this album embodies all of the elements you’ve come to love from the band over the years and exceeds any possible expectations you may have had prior to listening to it.