My dear editor and I joked about putting out an April fools jest on the web built around the news that the new Skinny Puppy record would rely heavily on hip hop and rap. Not that fun, so the idea was dropped. And it seems the idea wasn't that far-fetched. Because somewhere in-between loads of cool samples, atmospheric noises and heavy guitars, Nivek Ogre actually does rap (in the song "Pro-test"). No kidding. He really does. What’s worse, quite a few of the songs on the record contain beat patterns that anyone more than vaguely familiar with the dance scene of the mid-nineties can identify as drum’n’bass.
But – don’t stop reading here! Skinny Puppy hasn’t let you and me and the legion of fans waiting for a follow-up to relatively decent "The Process" and master pieces like "VivisectVI" down. "The Greater Wrong of the Right" is a really good album, even by the high standards Skinny Puppy themselves have set up. It just takes some time getting used to. And yes, at least the drum’n’bass bits blend into the rest of the music quite naturally.
True artists must change. Otherwise they stagnate and just make music for the money. But they mustn’t change too much, or else they risk losing their old fans. A pretty tough equation for the re-united pair of industrial forefathers Key and Ogre. And I’m sure they were in for an agonising creative process when making "The Greater Wrong of the Right". It sounds like songs like "Pro-Test" and "Neuwerld" have been laying on the shelves for some time (even if the might be new). But – apart from this – Skinny Puppy delivers the goods. And if some of the tracks on the first half of the album are very much not what I expected, the closing, dark trio of "Use Less", "Goneja" and "DaddyuWarbash" really kicks ass. Here – and throughout the record – the Canadian duo shows that they have the power and skill to sound like Skinny Puppy while incorporating new influences. And as a whole "The Greater Wrong of the Right" is a really strong, fast paced album, both danceable and intriguing. Furthermore, Ogre really sings this time around – blending in and complementing the more clean, back-to-basics, beat based sound perfectly. I’m sure Dwayne Goettel, wherever he is, smiles broadly and wishes his pals good luck. I, for my part, wish that Skinny Puppy will continue to make good records like this. And hopefully, they will also leave the hip hop out of it. Skinny Puppy is about brap – not rap.