on 3 November 2011
Skinny Puppy started their brand of industrial noise terror was back in 1982. The band never bothered with commercial success but they are accreted with paving the way for many industrial bands in the eighties and early nineties. Skinny Puppy should be put in the same inspirational league with the likes of throbbing gristle, Kraftwerk, and many early synth pioneers. It's been however a long time since their first EP Remission in 1984 and 2011's Handover has been a long time in coming. The Greater Wrong of the Right (2004) and Mythmaker (2007) with the untimely death of Dwayne Goettel in 1995 cEvin Key and Nivek Ogre seemed to have lost sight of what Skinny Puppy use to be: one of the most creative bands around. Thankfully that vision is back! Handover does not sound like leftovers from an Ohgr but a Skinny Puppy release that incorporates a large pallet of electronic sounds and effects, mixed with elements of dance, post-industrial, electronica and even breakcore.
That does not make it easy listening like older Puppy releases. Tracks like Brownstone with its rambling words will remind older fans of Barp, Noisex with it erratic beats and strange vocal sounds show the old experimental side of Skinny Puppy. There quieter moments, moments that reminds you of The Process and guitar driven tracks of Rabies.
Handover was always going to be divisive. Older fans, like me struggled get into the post-Dwayne releases yet Handover, for us, is the best SP release to-date. Newer fans coming into SP from 2004 will find Handover's experimentalism hard to swallow if not accustomed to the SP back catalogue.
Handover is a fine addition to this pioneer bands discography and again shows the pretenders how this type experimental electronic music should be executed. Anyone with an ounce of interested in electronic/experimental/industrial music should buy this release.
on 3 November 2011
As any fellow Skinny Puppy fan will know, it's been a nail biting wait for this one - But rest assured, as ever, it has been well worth it.
With Handover, Skinny Puppy are providing the master-class album in how they do what they do best, and this truly is a benchmark in the whole discography. Puppy have always been innovative, fresh and exiting with every single release, and this 25 year+ trend continues.
This album encompasses everything we love about them, while still remaining fresh and exiting. There are moments of sheer, electronic power and resonance as heard in 'Icktums', coupled with dyslexic beats & noise (see NoiseX) but there are some genuine moments of real beauty as heard in 'Wavy'.
Electronic components are, overall, more potent and raw than heard in recent albums - Track like 'Ashas' have elements that almost resemble Vangelis. Ogre himself sounds better than ever, sometimes rasping nostalgic tones similar to Rabies or The Process albums. Key remains nothing short of a patriarch of all things electronic, and the production value and intricacy of blips, glitches, beeps and noise are wondrous.
I want to pay special note to the track "cullorblind" - This is rapidly becoming one of my favorite Puppy tracks of all time and I think it provides a shining example of what this album represents - Which is the most self-descriptive album Skinny Puppy have ever made.
If someone asks you "Just who and what are Skinny Puppy?" You might be tempted to do it by the book and make them listen to Rabies or Too Dark Park. However, now this album is in existence I would argue against that - Make them listen to Handover. It contains elements of every album, yet it still holds it's ground as yet another brilliant, intelligent and inspiring album.
This is the Skinny Puppy we loved 20 years ago, and it's the Skinny Puppy we love today.
You simply cannot ask for more.
A heartfelt thankyou to everyone involved in the making of this album. As a fan, it's an un-matched pleasure.
on 3 March 2012
i really like this album i prefer it generally to the greater wrong of the right and definitely the last album myth maker. this album is a return to some of the glitchyness that makes skinny puppy so cool, and its a very enjoyable listening experience. There is a lot of soundscape type stuff which is definitely made better with a decent pair of headphones and the song "cullorblind" may be there most accesiable song ever. Ogres lyrics sound like words taken out of a hat and whilst the sound is softer and more focused he still has an edge and a darkness in his voice. i hope skinny puppy keep making records because they are one of a kind
on 27 April 2012
Handover is a very pleasant surprise. The production has a classy sheen throughout that actually aids the edginess of the music - best heard over decent speakers rather than headphones.
Compared to the last 2 albums, they no longer sound as if trying to catch up with younger acts. Use of Vocoder thankfully sparse (I hate Vocoded vocals!).
A couple of tracks are MTV2 friendly, but that's not to say they're bad. My favourites though are Village and Brownstone. The former stomps along with real energy ( the nearest I've heard them come to Tin Omen) while the latter is entertainingly weird; a reverse engineered Urban Myth?
And Mister Brown? Well, He's around...