Skinny Puppy - Bites LP


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Label: Nettwerk

Our Review:

Bites marked the first full-length for Skinny Puppy, originally released on Nettwerk in 1985. It's a swaggering collection of electro-industrial programming and their signature horror-laden iconography. The band was formed a few years later by principle technician cEvin Key and Nivek Ogre, bastardized pseudonyms for two Canadian who were both graced with the first name of Kevin. This early incarnation of the band found them working alongside Bill Leeb, who would shortly found Front Line Assembly. Dave Ogilvie (no relation to Kevin "Nivek Ogre" Ogilvie) also began a long-term production relationship with the band, helping refine and expand their already caustic electronic sound. On Bites, Skinny Puppy followed the gloomy, aggressive sequencing of the earlier Remissions EP through bolstered propulsive rhythms. Both "Assimilate" and "Dead Lines" laid the groundwork for countless industrial dance projects to augment a streamlined techno rhythm with nervous-twitch sequencing and shards of synth-noise. Yet the remainder of the album shifts toward slower-paced dirges and more experimental sequencing structures. The case could be made that Skinny Puppy's "Icebreaker" is a distant response to SPK's "Despair" as both lumber with mutant monstrosities and eerie elliptical patterning; and "Basement" entirely eschews Orge's vocals for a Numanoid rhythm cloaked in a desolate synth drone and vampire-movie samples. This pressing restores Bites to its original track listing and design.