"Mythmaker" actually starts with a march-like song called "Magnifishit" – with an almost Rammstein-like harshness and directness, it grabs me by the arms and drags me into an album that I must say is somewhat unsatisfying. It's a mix of the simplicity that characterized Skinny Puppy when they started, some 25 years (!) ago, the pop-sensibility of the last release, and a welcome, partial, return to the Skinny Puppy that piles layer upon layer of samples. Had the latter been dominant, this could have been the best Skinny album since "Too Dark Park". It is not. And one can almost certainly blame – at least to a certain extent producer Mark Walk (KMFDM, Ohgr, Pigface) for bringing in his influences and likings. This is obvious in Ministry-sounding and pretty annoying "Ugli", for example.
But of course, Ogre and Key are most to blame, for wanting to at the same time evolve, acknowledge their roots and do what they do best. And despite all its flaws and strange beats, I find myself enjoying "The Greater Wrong of the Right" better, even though "Mythmaker" actually sounds more like Skinny Puppy "ought to".
Do I sound unfocused? Well, so is "Mythmaker" and that’s the problem. There’s great songs and influences a-plenty (I, for one, can’t stop listening to multi layered "Haze", amongst others). But for every two great songs, there’s at least one that just doesn’t make the cut. Maybe Ogre and Key are so afraid of creating their own myth, that they jump between electronic genres and styles. This is still more techno than noise and industrial and sometimes its sounds a bit too much Ohgr.
But don’t be afraid. If you have liked Skinny Puppy in the past, you can march with them now as well. But if you are a bit like me, you may wonder what the result could have been if the little angry dog had kept his eyes on one goal instead of three or four, sometimes glancing backwards and lifting its leg by the side of the road from time to time.
But the march goes forward, oh yes. Maybe next time it will reach its goal. At least musically. Now it shimmers in a not too distant future.
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