Local Wire

Skinny Puppy

The mere mention of Vancouver's Skinny Puppy elicits images of traumatic soundscapes that often spiral into the chaotic; the band's output was matched only by its flair for the visually unsettling. It was that combination that put Nivek Ogre, cEvin Key, and the late Dwayne Goettel shoulder to shoulder with industrial icons Ministry and Nine Inch Nails.

Longtime fans may be surprised at the direction Ogre and Key take with The Greater Wrong of the Right. In many ways, instead of clinging to old methods, the songs reflect where the players are in 2004. On "I'mmortal" and "Past Present," Key mutates electronic rhythms much as he's done in his recent solo work and adjunct project, Download. Ogre's signature vocals and stream-of-consciousness shots at the world turn down the distortion, but still convey the sense of dread he's known for. The obvious political stabs ("Neuwerld" and the frantic "Daddyuwarbash") are here, warped and disfigured for your imagination. Tool's Danny Carey and Static-X's Wayne Static lend their talents to the stark "Use Less." At heart, Skinny Puppy has succeeded on several levels: creating a soundtrack reflecting the fractured world around the band and also an album that, like Skinny Puppy throughout its 21 years, confronts and challenges both old and new listeners.

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Norman Narvaja