Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Skinny Puppy Thwarts Ambush From The Great Vampire Squid

ohGr disapproves of your hapless consumer mentality.It is a story that most musicians and bands are now accustomed to as economic imbalance continues to sabotage their creative potential. With the release of the new Skinny Puppy album, HanDover, this past October, we bear witness to a record that has been on hold from release for two years thanks to the ongoing sickening ravages of the global financial plague waged on anyone who isn't in the 1%. Obviously, there is an interesting back story to this. In 2009, Skinny Puppy's label, the German-based SPV, went into insolvency, instantly nullifying any possibility of the album's release that year. While this was happening, the band had also scheduled their 2009 Fall tour throughout the US and Europe, yet decided to go forward with the shows despite not at all having their new album on hand. The trouble with the label's lack of financing for the release of their album inevitably gave the band's singer, Ohgr, an idea to harness his patented gothy word-manipulation powers and christened the tour name "In Solvent See".

Supernatural poster for Skinny Puppy's 2009 In Solvent See tour.
In the run up to their tour, Skinny Puppy learned of the label's insolvency, so the band's manager, Jeff Jacquin, put out a press release, which stated "I just wanted to attempt to make everyone aware of the current situation that Skinny Puppy is in. Due to the fact that SPV filed for insolvency earlier in the year, the new Skinny Puppy LP will not be out in time for the tour. We have been in discussion with SPV and had hoped to find a solution to the mess they have put us in, but it looks as though things will not get sorted out until years end. We have meetings set with them in the near future and I hope to be able to let everyone know that things will be back on track soon. Songs have been recorded and artwork has been worked on and once we resolve the issues we have with SPV we will release them."

Album cover for the 2011 Skinny Puppy album, haNdoverThat was October 2009. Fast forward two years later and we are finally able to enjoy this legendary industrial band's new album hanDover, a long-awaited follow up to their 2007 album, Mythmaker. Sporting a poignant design by the visual artist who has done nearly all their album covers since the beginning, Steven R. Gilmore, the release turns a giant mirror on this naughty little world in a way that only Skinny Puppy can pull off. One can assume that the band must have continued to record and tweak the album while waiting to put it out so that it wouldn't be too dated. If so, they succeeded. Stylistically, the record has similarities to their post-millenium sound (Cullorblind, Ashas, Icktums, Village), but at times can possibly even remind diehard fans of their earlier, grittier, analog synth legacy (Ovirt, Wavy, Point) while continuing to explore production techniques that tap into new territory (Gambatte, Brownstone, Vyrisus, Noisex). Overall, the album is a worthwhile buy if you are a fan, but probably not the best pick for newcomers, who should likely first be exposed to their classic albums (such as Remission, Too Dark Park, and The Process) for the best potential long term impact.

Marz233 figuring out the mix for our next hit song.
"So what in the hell does this blog have to do with your band HoodooEngine?" you may be furiously asking yourself while sitting in total isolation (in true troll form). Aside from being one of the most influential groups for us and wanting to show respect for their continued efforts, we are also intrigued by this tale of an extended monetary struggle to release their art. Much like our own (and most others) sustained professional difficulties, Skinny Puppy has undergone major stresses and delays of their work due to the persistent specter of economic disparity. Their true hella swag gangsta ability to persevere as a band continues to inspire us. As such, we have learned to gladly punt any silly obstacles (such as total world meltdown) that might stand in the way of releasing stuff such as our newest cheerful release, Murder The World, and we will continue to stand for groundbreaking art that isn't afraid to raise its voice to make a worthwhile pissed-off statement. In closing, we feel it really helps to make an impact against the powers that be if you offer bands that you really appreciate a little bit of your money. I mean, c'mon, otherwise its just going to go toward that corporate slush fund for genetically modifying your unborn children. Nobody wants that.