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Techno Takeover episode 10
Skinny puppy making absolutely no sense other than they want assimlation.
((Reviewtopia's blog doesn't support this font or something along those lines, it just made the size entirely too big and I don't know how to fix it sorry... go here to see it in the original font, http://pugsly6338-technotakeover.blogspot.com/2011/08/techno-takeover-episode-10.html ))
Hello wonderful people!
As you can tell I've picked a new font for this episode of Techno takeover. Why would I need a new font for just one song? It's more of a Gothic song, but mainly industrial... so I searched Google in an effort to find a font to match the theme and I ended up with Elfar Normal G98. Yes I am that picky... On to the band history!
Skinny puppy is a Canadian Industrial group formed in Vancouver. British Columbia, Canada in 1982. They are considered to be the founders of the Electro-Industrial genre.
Because Canada is that awesome... So you Electro-Industrial fans hating on Canada, you should thank them for giving you Skinny puppy.
The band was initially intended as a side project of cEvin Key while he was in the new wave band Images in Vogue. Once vocalist Nivek Ogre was added, Skinny Puppy became a full time project. The lineup has changed many times over the years but two factors remain consistent, Ogre and cEvin. The band currently consists of cEvin Kay, Nivek Ogre, Mark Walk, and Justin Bennett.
Those are some weird names and wait a minute, Ogre looks familiar...
I know you'll find out later, anyways, cEvin's real name is Kevin William Crompton. Nivek Ogre's real name is Kevin Graham Ogilvie he picked that because there was already a Kevin and their producer's last name was Ogilvie as well, he got creative and went with Ogre. The other two have normal names because they apparently were too cool for nicknames.
They formed in 1982 out of cEvin's distaste with the pop direction his former band Images in Vogue was headed in. Skinny puppy was his outlet for something more raw and experimental while still staying involved with his old band. This plan failed when they relocated to Toronto and Key decided to make Puppy his full time project. Their first self-released cassette Back and Forth was recorded with help from David “Rave” Ogilvie and inspired by the concept of “music from a dog's eye view.” (Thought up by cEvin) “Back and Forth” got the attention of Vancouver startup label Nettwerk which led to Skinny Puppy their first live show at Unovis (Vancouver) in February of '84. Back and Forth was followed by their debut EP Remission and then their first album Bites which was released in 1985. Bites had the production help of Tom Ellard of Severed heads; he worked on the track Assimilate which became one of the band's first underground hits followed by “Smothered Hope,” “The Choke,” “Dead Lines.” “Last Call.” and “Far Too Frail.”
Okay this must be brought up... Skinny Puppy does some weird stuff on stage or at least front man Ogre does. The band is known for being a big advocate for animal rights and during a 1988 Cincinnati concert; they performed vivisection on a stuffed dog.
** Vivisection means a surgery conducted on a living organism with a central nervous system for experimental purposes to view a living internal structure. Research requiring the use of vivisection techniques have a legal anesthesia mandate attached to it. Although it has its own act and legal stuff protecting the animals subjected to this, the rules are overflowing with loopholes and in the name of science you could probably get away with torturing an animal with this but of course doing this on humans is completely illegal no if ands or buts about it. Here's the link for it on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vivisection **
They were performing their song “Testure” which deals with denouncing vivisection, during the live performance an audience member mistook the stuffed animal for a real dog and called the police leading to cEvin and Ogre being arrested on disorderly conduct.
You do the math: Band known for animal rights and are against vivisection + song denouncing vivisection = doing an actual vivisection on stage... Yup that makes complete sense.
Back to the band history, they continued to rise in success into the early nineties but broke up in 93 most likely due to other side projects taking off and some legal issues with people. In 1995 Dwayne Goettel, their replacement for their former keyboardist then their full time keyboardist, died of an apparent heroin overdose. (Dear famous people, STAY AWAY FROM THE HEROIN IT WILL KILL YOU) The band got back together in 2000 and their most recent album is expected to be released in September 2011.
There are two version of Assimilate, in my experience the one I am reviewing, the better version, doesn't have that many reposts on YouTube but there's multiple versions of the not so good one. Ironically the good version is on “Bites,” and the not so good one is on “Ain't It Dead Yet?” That album is really a live performance concert released on a CD. Now I must say, I've watched concert performances of “Assimilate” and I liked the sound, however the “Ain't it dead yet” version is nowhere as good as “Bites”
Apparently Bites was originally an LP but was released again an as album with work from when they were known as Hell-O Death Day.
Now with that out of the way, the song review!
“Oil remove shred tear
Radiation vapor air it's the fear
So unclear man in motion
These verses are really long so I'm chopping them up into shorter sections otherwise it's just one long verse and then the chorus. This song opens up with one of the coolest openings to a song I have ever heard. There's bass and a snyth of some kind, and growling. That sounds random but put on a pair of bass boosting headphones and enjoy the fourteen minute eargasm that is the opening of Assimilate. It takes a break from that opening beat and then comes back in full force by the start of this verse and more amazing things are added to it once Ogre starts singing. Now on to the lyrics... I have no idea what any of that is supposed to mean. What are we removing oil from, what is being shredded and torn or what are we supposed to shred and tear? Damn right it's so unclear; I've never been more confused about a song's lyrics in my life. And of course there's a man in motion but he's not going anywhere any time soon... maybe he should change what he's doing and he'll get somewhere... poor guy...
“In our homes stuck in the face
Spread the dirt to populace yellow journal yellow journal
Set the pace feel the rage”
I don't know if I should even pick at those first two lines they just make my brain hurt... anyways, Spreading the dirt to populace could totally be about spreading something bad to the majority of the world through something relating to yellow journalism. Yellow Journalism is rumored to be the cause of the Spanish- American war or what helped fuel it due to possible telegram that stated it was all quiet in Cuba and there won't be any war, but William Randolph Hearst stated that “You [Fredrick Remington] furnish the pictures I'll furnish the war,” but some historians deny that those words where never exchanged. But the last line of the verse would sum up the feelings once a person found out that yellow journalism tricked them into feeling anger or passion about something that wasn't even really that bad (or it didn't exist at all) just to fuel political gain... Jesse Ventura would not have been a happy man if he lived during the 1890's.
Wikipedia definition: “Yellow journalism or the yellow press is a type of journalism that presents little or no legitimate well-researched news and instead uses eye-catching headlines to sell more newspapers. Techniques may include exaggerations of news events, scandal-mongering, or sensationalism. By extension "Yellow Journalism" is used today as a pejorative to decry any journalism that treats news in an unprofessional or unethical fashion.”
Fun fact again: the term originated during the Gilded Age of the late 19th century because of the battle between Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst. Yeah you know the guy that award is named after that writer's get for getting really good books, or so you thought. It's also awarded for musical composition, literature, and newspaper and online journalism. That makes sense now doesn't it?
“Manifestations of a sort
So insidious off the point
Simple solution never confusion
Sport a gun to kill a cop”
Insidious... the movie? No not the movie... insidious means;
1a: awaiting a chance to entrap: treacherous
b: harmful but enticing: seductive <insidious drugs>
2a: having a gradual and cumulative effect: subtle
b of a disease: developing so gradually as to be well established before becoming apparent
Something manifested and is so evil it's off the point they need a simple solution that's not confusing and they also plan on killing a cop... who are they; I don't know I just made up an imaginary group of people. Why did all that just happen, because I said so now moving on!
“Crazy world of weary thought
So receive me had enough
Lock me up lock me up”
Well if you succeed in killing the cop you'll be locked up, unless you want to be locked up in the happy place, then I can't help you with that. But yes Ogre, the world is crazy I will agree with you on that.
“Rot and assimilate hot to annihilate
Rot and assimilate so hot to annihilate
'is it safe?'”
I don't know other than you're being yelled at to rot and assimilate. something's too hot to annihilate, and last but not least, to royally hate something or to hate royalty. Then someone asks if it's safe... Safe to do what? I don't know. This song is full of mystery.
And for those that don't know what Assimilate means:
a. To consume and incorporate (nutrients) into the body after digestion.
b. To transform (food) into living tissue by the process of anabolism; metabolize constructively.
2. To incorporate and absorb into the mind: assimilate knowledge.
3. To make similar; cause to resemble.
4. Linguistics To alter (a sound) by assimilation.
5. To absorb (immigrants or a culturally distinct group) into the prevailing culture.”
Your welcome, no I'm not shortening it because this song could be using any of those instances of the word, but it's most likely the last definition. There's a random music interlude for a few seconds and then fifth verse (but the official second verse) of the song starts and the cool synth beat from the beginning comes back.
“Deviation tonic mess
Prolonged existence innocence
See he who speaks isn't weak
Wheelchair future so to speak”
1. The act of deviating or turning aside.
2. An abnormality; a departure:
3. Deviant behavior or attitudes.
4. Divergence from an accepted political policy or party line.
5. Deflection of a compass needle caused by local magnetic influence, especially on a ship.
6. Statistics The difference, especially the absolute difference, between one number in a set and the mean of the set.
Tonic, I could post the definition but none of them seem to make the least bit of sense. Prolonged means a long exposure, so there's a prolonged existence of innocence. Is the song implying someone's going to end up in a wheelchair...? Ogre some people take that as a threat you know. I don't think it's safe to just throw that in the middle of a random verse. Wait a minute... Deviant behavior or attitudes and one of the definitions of tonic is an agent or medication that restores or increases body tone are they implying someone's on drugs?
“Bubonic plague the truth evades
Community avoid decay in the trench of pestilence
The bible screams announce your faith”
Religion blah, blah, blah. Bible nonsense blah, blah, blah, and all that good stuff that people normally rant about when it comes to religion and the bible. There's a trench of pestilence... I swear this review is turning into a “Words of the day” article the farther we get into this song...
“1. A usually fatal epidemic disease, especially bubonic plague.
2. A pernicious, evil influence or agent.”
Didn't they just mention the bubonic plague before? So there's a trench of people dead from the bubonic plague or there's a pit of people with evil intentions? What was going on in the 80's in Canada that caused them to write this?!
“Mutterings of death to bring
Suffocate a new born thing
Degradation of an age
Venereal it’s all sensation
Protect design the moral plan
Infallible as propaganda
Completely black with no steps back”
More words to look up... I swear I should live on thefreedictionary.com because that site and Wikipedia are now my best friends. Degradation means the act of degrading or decline in condition, quality or level. Oh look something that has to do with assimilation. Degradation of an age, an age of something is being degraded due to assimilation. Venereal only has to do with genitals or sexual intercourse... um... what is all a sensation that has to do with venereal?
There's a moral plan that has to be protected because it is as incapable of failure as propaganda is (that's what infallible means, incapable of failure or error.) I really don't understand this song. So the chorus happens again and it's different so I can't just leave it at the chorus happens like I normally do... this song is so complicated!
“Hot to Assimilate
(Royal hate) Rot or Annihilate
(Search your soul)
Hot to assimilate
(search your soul)
We'll rot or annihilate”
He's yelling at you again. Really the verbal abuse doesn't make me understand the song any more than I do at the moment. It makes me want to kick you in the shin and tell you to shut your face and that I can't help you because I don't understand what you want me to do. Yelling at me won't make me understand it any better than if you were talking in a normal voice. All I can tell is that he does not want assimilate, to what I don't know but then this happens:
Inner thinking brain
'is it safe?'”
Yeah he's not singing anymore just kind of talking to us now but he doesn't make any sense so moving on to the next verses.
“Mutterings of death to bring
Suffocate a new born thing
Degradation of an age
Venereal it's all sensation
Protect design the moral plan
Infallible no propaganda
Completely black with no steps back”
Ogre you just told us this why are you repeating yourself? Next verse please...
“Agony profusely stains
The inner thinking of the brain
Experiments with groans of pain
It's all preferred that no one blames
The terror in an animal screams
In cages our future the answer's insane”
So he told us all of this just to tell us he's insane?
“Rot and assimilate
So hot to annihilate
(each adds assimilate)
Rot and assimilate
(each one assimilates)
So hot to annihilate”
After a random music interlude there's like a monster growling at you. Why I have no clue it's just there, it happens twice in the song and it's kind of annoying. The song ends with Ogre yelling 'death' at you. He wants us to die now? What a douche-face you put me through seven minutes of that just to tell me you're insane now you want me to die! I am not your minion and will just die at the drop of a dime! Diamanda Hagan has tons of those if you want one all you have to do is ask, she won't give you one though. I don't think she likes sharing her minions with other people.
So that was Assimilate... I really don't know what else to say about the song... other than I absolutely LOVE the opening dear god it is awesome! It's right under “Breath Of Ghosts” in my awesome electronic song openings that I just made up purely for the sake of making a point about how awesome it is.
Oh and about that secret I was saving for the end of the review. Ogre is Pavi Largo The Genetic Rock Opera. Yup, you read that right.
This guy: (the guy in the middle)
This is Pugsly and I think this review just gave me a new record of like thirty minutes or so of completing a review in one day. Not that I kept track before...
** Some of the spots are hard to decipher what is being said and I discovered some of the lyric sites aren't one-hundred percent accurate so I filled in what I thought I was hearing. Don't tell me the lyric site says different because the lyric sites are wrong. I checked Skinny Puppy's website and they don't have a spot for lyrics unless I missed it... however that was my interpretation of the lyrics as well as whoever posts up lyrics on the millions of lyric websites. Special thanks goes out to http://www.darklyrics.com/index.html and aenima_3rdeye who is credited for sending in some of the lyrics to that website. Doesn't say which lyrics just that they helped. So thank you for submitting those lyrics hopefully to assimilate because they were the closest to being somewhat accurate. **
And because I wanted to use this clip too: