Skinny Puppy
Rabies


3.0
good

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
February 23rd, 2008 | 23 replies | 13,311 views


Release Date: 1989 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Despite what you might have heard, this is not the great Skinny Puppy release that you must listen to if you like Industrial music.

I’m a huge fan of Skinny Puppy, but that doesn’t mean that I’m blind to a band’s low points. A lot of people look at this album as a pinnacle in Skinny Puppy’s career, as it saw them expanding their sound, in part due to them taking on Al Jorgensen of Ministry as the producer of this album, but I just don’t see it. Sure, it could be seen as a pinnacle of their career if you’re just referring to their increased drug use (heroin in particular… thanks to Al for that one), but musically it’s nothing more then a transitional album where they seem to be attempting to find a new sound, and achieving mediocre results.

Skinny Puppy albums prior to this were firmly entrenched in the 80’s Industrial sound but with enough unique elements such as Ogre’s vocals and Cevin’s multi-instrumental abilities to set them apart. The beats were mostly simple, but the music was full of harsh synths, distorted vocals, and yet it was somehow catchy too. The beats on this album are still simple and there are plenty of distorted vocals and synths, but it’s just not catchy or even interesting for the most part. The first three tracks start with basic beats that are unchanging for over five minutes each and have barely any musical accompaniment at all. In addition, the samples don’t add anything to the meaning or atmosphere of the songs. The final complaint would be the vocals of Ogre. He is known to scream and rant his way through a song or two in his time, but the music was always good enough to allow him to do that, but not this time.

The first moment of interest comes on the fourth track called, “Fascist Jock Itch” which shows off some of Al Jorgensen’s influence. It is fast paced and features distorted guitar riffs, a pulsating underlying synth line, and some very angry vocals from Ogre. The combined effect is a song that actually seems to have some life to it and actually remains memorable by the time it ends. The following song “Worlock” is Skinny Puppy’s defining moment as far as I am concerned. This song found them increasing the darkness of older songs, adding more subtle melody and combining it with many more layers of synths and sounds. This song also features one of the best choruses of any song I’ve ever heard when Ogre’s vocals take on a sad and computerized effect, and it is memorable as hell without being poppy in the least. It is these elements that they would take even farther on their next and best album, Too Dark Park.

After a brief transitional song, they go back to the Metal influence found on “Fascist Jock Itch”, and show off Al Jorgensen’s sway during a high speed noisy freak-out about half way through. Sadly, after this song, things are just terrible, as the songs lose any kind of focus or even the remotely listenable aspects of the first three tracks. This is no more apparent then in the final track which is sixteen minutes of mostly formless noise, and ends the album on a very low note.

If you’re looking to get into Industrial or Skinny Puppy and heard that this was a good album to start with, you were sadly misinformed. Although this album contains the best song to bear the Skinny Puppy name (Worlock), the rest of the album consists of two good Industrial Metal songs, three average songs, and five songs that aren’t worth wasting your time on. If you’re looking for some driving and aggressive Industrial then look for The Process, if you want dark multi-layered flawlessness then look for Too Dark Park, and if you want Skinny Puppy at their most challenging and eccentric then look for Last Rights; only after seeking out these three albums might I suggest that you spend any time on this one.



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user ratings (89)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
February 23rd 2008



15900 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I struggled with a rating for this album since I really don't like most of it and wanted to give it a 2.5 since it really isn't all that good for Skinny Puppy. I gave it a 3 because it's still better then a lot of Industrial and it does have the best song of their career on it.

rasputin
February 23rd 2008



14538 Comments


nice review, except the two times you say Worlock, they're spelt differently. Still need to have a listen to these guys.

Willie
Moderator
February 23rd 2008



15900 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

You are right about that... and it has been fixed now... now you need to fix your part and check these guys out (just don't start with this one).

rasputin
February 23rd 2008



14538 Comments


You gave Too Dark Park a 5, that's the place to start?

Willie
Moderator
February 23rd 2008



15900 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I love that album... it's challenging but it's worth the effort... uh, that means yes.

Edit: Something a little more easy to listen to and conventional would be The Process (plus they use guitars on that one).This Message Edited On 02.23.08

MoonlightBleeding
February 23rd 2008



452 Comments


I'm not a huge fan of this album either, so...



Merkaba33
February 23rd 2008



702 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

thanks for the review. great job on it. i guess i was sadly misinformed on this. that or "worlock" just convinced me to buy it. either way im not liking this album as much as VIVIsect VI. i'll check out those ones that you recommended. i was planning on getting the process next anyways. oh and keep the skinny puppy reviews going. you seem to know your stuff!This Message Edited On 02.23.08

Wizard
February 23rd 2008



19306 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Come on Willie, this is a good album! Probably my favourite by them. To each his own hahaha!
I liked this album the best (from what I've heard from Skinny Puppy) because of the stronger metal influence (probably because of Al). Still, you back your opinion up well and thats what counts. I'm glad you didnt find this album to be a complete let down.

Sure, it could be seen as a pinnacle of their career if you’re just referring to their increased drug use (heroin in particular… thanks to Al for that one)

Very, very true!

Digging: Downer - Downer

Willie
Moderator
February 24th 2008



15900 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i'll check out those ones that you recommended.
I think you'll be a lot more impressed with the three albums I mentioned then this one.
I liked this album the best (from what I've heard from Skinny Puppy) because of the stronger metal influence (probably because of Al).
But the metal influence is only in two songs really. Have you heard the three albums I suggested above? If you haven't then I might understand why this is your favorite... if you have, then I'm surprised (especially considering that The Process is mostly like the two metal songs on this album).

Wizard
February 24th 2008



19306 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I shouldn't say that they had a bigger metal influence on this album (wrong wording), but I should say that this album just feels heavier than the rest of the stuff I've heard. I still need to check out Too Dark Park and Last Rights. Your right though, saying this is my favourite without hearing those albums might be a premature decision at this point in time hahahaha. The Process bored the shit out of me.

I forgot to ask you Willie, what do you think of Godflesh, seeing as your a fan of industrial. I've been digging Streencleaner for a couple of years now and I would put it up there as one of the better albums in the genre. This Message Edited On 02.24.08

Willie
Moderator
February 25th 2008



15900 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The Process bored the **** out of me.
Really? It's not as dark as this one, but, to me, it is the most similar. I'm surprised. Based on this new info I can't say for sure if you would like Too Dark Park or Last Rights... but I'd like to think so ;)
Hell yeah I like Godflesh and especially Streetcleaner becuase it is just so raw sounding. I really do have to say again that based on what you've been talking about with Ministry and Godflesh and your preferences so far with Skinny Puppy that you probably would really like that Acumen Nation CD (Psycho the Rapist).

Wizard
February 25th 2008



19306 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm going to give Skinny Puppy my full attention when I have the time. I have the Process and Rabies and I will give them both another thorough listen. Skinny Puppy feels to me feels like they are growers. I can't say I have listened to their albums often enough to have as good an opinion as you on their material. I will just sit down one day and run through all their suggested releases.
I will check out Acemen Nation's Psycho the Rapist too!
(just put it on my list of priorities hahaha)

Willie
Moderator
February 26th 2008



15900 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Skinny Puppy are definitely growers... I can't think of very many of their songs that could be considered "instant"... and even the few that can all have underlying nuances...

Edit: I really think you'll like the Acumen Nation CD or I wouldn't keep suggesting it ;)This Message Edited On 02.26.08

weepingwillowdown
August 19th 2008



29 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah definitly agree with what you said Skinny Puppy is far better than Ministry even though not all agree. So this is a slightly overated Skinny Puppy release but by no means is Worlock overated that goes down with Smothered Hope Dig It and Dogshit as the greatest Puppy songs ever. But I would have to disagree and say that the first song here is pretty good really builds until it hits a climax althought not as good as the stuff on VIVIsectVI Rivers is also a really cool song putting in the stuff from Stanley Kubricks A Clockwork Orange and 2001's Space oddyssey's Hal 9000.

Meatplow
May 9th 2009



5524 Comments


Good review, strangely though i'm not big on Skinny Puppy and I liked it more then you. I'm unfamiliar with the bulk of their discography and how it's generally regarded, but to me this album was decent enough to feel like it could grow on me.

Willie
Moderator
May 9th 2009



15900 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

have you heard Too Dark Park? That is the album that SP should be judged on.

Reading through the comments reminds me that after Numb you should try Acumen Nation and start with Psycho the Rapist or Territory=Universe.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
May 9th 2009



8321 Comments


Skinny Puppy are really cool, my favorite mellow industrial artist.

And going off topic ( as I like to do on a lot of occasions haha), Willie have you finally heard these Crossbreed and/or Ventana albums?

Meatplow
May 9th 2009



5524 Comments


Yeah man. I've listened to it 3 or 4 times, dug it heavily then for some reason never returned to to it so i'll have to check it out again. Upon recommendation from you ages ago I checked out Acumen Nation, i've been listening to Psycho The Rapist a lot lately actually.

EvilCashew
July 24th 2010



132 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review. Yeah, this wasn't Skinny Puppy's greatest work. Worlock is still one of my favorite tracks from Skinny Puppy though.

HeathenEarthling
July 31st 2011



88 Comments


It's worth noting that "Spahn Dirge" was a B-side/CD bonus track that isn't on the LP version, so I wouldn't rate too harshly because of it.



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