April 5, 2007

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Skinny Puppy, Mythmaker
Synthetic Symphony/SPV Records, 2007

From its verist, stomach-turning album-cover paintings to its condemnatory visions of lard-bodied Cheney war pigs wallowing in their own fear-mongering, 2004’s Greater Wrong of the Right was a brilliant grotesquerie that literally took me months of getting used to. If there were one review I could have back in this life it’d be that one, written while I was still squeamish about treading its more claustrophobic mirror-walled corridors. This year Ogre’s beefs are personal as well as political – through the performance art of the GWOTW tour he made his point about how everybody was responsible for 9/11, and he’s still beyond all measure of disgusted with politics, but SP’s MySpace page alludes to his getting the shaft from people close to him, a lot of signs pointing to Bill Leeb as far as that goes, but that’s base speculation, and... oh, the tunes, yes. You can start by throwing out every darkwave/goth-electro precept you’ve ever absorbed (save for the Too Dark Park percolation found in the anti-media diatribe “Politikil”) and readying yourself for demon-possessed laptops churning out a Wizard of Oz-like theatre piece, like Last Rights washed out with phase-shifted vocoder. While not doling out any simple “Past Present” trances or polyrhythmic “I’mmortal” slam-dunks to the breakdancers, Mythmaker greases other art-joints of the body, as always with the band’s grim stoicism and psychic clarity pegged to the floor. A+ Eric W. Saeger