Last Rights

”Pain! Pain! Pain!” shrieks a distorted voice at the start of Skinny Puppy’s Last Rights, like some obscene caller with a flair for torture. It’s the perfect introduction for what’s to come: a dense barrage of ugly found sound (electric screwdrivers, banging pipes), sinister synthesizers, electronically induced beats, and strangulated vocals (from someone who justifiably calls himself Ogre). The sound isn’t terribly different from the one they pioneered nine years ago, helping to create the genre known as ”industrial.” But if their general malevolence is familiar, our sick pups still manage to surprise with weird hooks, and the occasional, improbable dance beat. ”Killing Game” even features what could pass for a melody. Does this mean they’ve been housebroken? Not judging by the record’s second half — a nonstop stretch of horrific soundscapes suggesting a rotting structure on the verge of collapse. Such pieces tip off Puppy’s true calling: to give popular music a fun new way to tear things apart. B+

Last Rights
  • Music