Last week I got a pair of shiny new cds – the new Skinny Puppy album, The Greater Wrong of the Right and the new (and possibly final) Front Line Assembly album, Civilization, and I’m totally diggin’ them both. The FLA album is like a throwback to Hard Wired – more punchy and aggressive, and less electronic sounding than Flavour of the Weak and its followers. Given that Rhys Fulber is back in the fold for this album, this isn’t much of a surprise. That said, it doesn’t sound recycled at all. It’s not a great leap forward for FLA, but certainly not a bad step.
The Skinny Puppy album is a different beast – it doesn’t really sound much like Old-School Puppy, but that’s not a bad thing. A lot of reviews claim that the new album picks up where The Process left off but I think that’s unfair to the band and to the album. Eight years have passed since The Process and both Ogre and Cevin Key have done quite a bit of work in that time (Key more than Ogre). All of that time comes out in the album – it’s a logical meshing of Ogre’s work as OhGr, and Key’s The Ghost of Each Room (which featured Ogre on the track Frozen Sky). The result is what you’d expect – more melodic songs with less distortion on the vocals. We’re never going to get another Too Dark Park or Last Rights, and to be honest, I’d have been a bit disappointed if we did. It would have meant that Skinny Puppy didn’t grow as a band, and that Key and Ogre didn’t grow as musicians.
The bottom line is that no fan will be disappointed with either of these albums. To paraphrase Ferris Bueler, they are so choice – I highly suggest acquiring copies of your own.