Thursday, April 16, 2009

Skinny Puppy - a threefer

Do you remember back when you were younger, and still mostly a naïve country boy, and you went to the big city to have some fun? You remember. You got picked up by these two extremely hot hot chicks who said they'd show you a good time, so you went with them to this weird dance club where they were playing something that technically had a good beat and you could dance to it, but somehow you suddenly weren't really in the mood. And then things started to get...a little...intense, shall we say, and then when blood started raining down out of the sprinkler system you might have freaked out and lost bladder control just a tiny bit, and the only reason you lived to tell about it was because right about then this huge dude knocked the doors down, came in and killed everyone except you with a sword.

Remember that? This is the music that was playing.

But seriously, these three albums are the full extent of the electro-industrial subgenre in my collection. And I don't think I really need any more. The album names from top to bottom are: Mind: The Perpetual Intercourse (1986), Cleanse Fold and Manipulate (1987), and VIVIsectVI (1988).

I read about these guys in Keyboard magazine way back in the 80s, because they used lots of electronics and the description of their sound interested me. I knew it wasn't going to be the kind of thing I usually listened to, but I really wanted to hear it so I bought one of these. I don't remember which was first, but they were all in stock at Sundance Records in San Marcos. I took it home and listened to it, and the next day I went back and bought the other two.

So, if you've never heard any of this stuff, well, to describe it...(takes pipe bowl in hand pensively).

Like I said, a huge reliance on electronics to start. Add in a powerful application of drum machine(s), found sound as well as recognizable sound clips from movies and the news, and vocals that that demon from The Exorcist could only dream about in its worst nightmares.

Need I say--I enjoyed it very much.

Skinny Puppy are generally considered to be the founders of this kind of music: industrial or at least electro-industrial. Their work, and especially their earlier work, has been hugely influential in this genre. These three were their third, fourth and fifth albums, and many think these are pretty much the best of the best.

So if one of you industrialists out there reads this and thinks I'm missing out on someone else, leave a comment. Otherwise, these three will be it for me.

All three of these are LPs, but were played only once or twice before because I taped them right away. I got perfect rips on all three. It's hard to pick any favorite "songs," because this stuff just doesn't lend itself well to such frivolity. But if I had to pick a favorite, it would be "Shadow Cast" from Cleanse Fold and Manipulate, because it uses sound clips from one of my favorite movies: Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. Unfortunately, they do not use the best line from the whole movie, which is: " achin' banana" by native Texan James N. Harrell.

If you care to go exploring, Amazon has samples of all tracks from all three of these albums that you can listen to.

Amazon link: Skinny Puppy

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