Disposable Teens

Like GWAR, SKINNY PUPPY were part of my love for theatrical, art, horror rock. GWAR were the grimy kings of metal, SKINNY PUPPY held down that industrial angle.

I learned about GWAR right out of high school. SKINNY PUPPY took up about two or three years of my teens. I went on this very teenage, high school, drama, gothy, industrial music kick. I loved the stuff. NINE INCH NAILS ruled (still kind of do). Trent Reznor was my idea of supreme awesomeness.

SKINNY PUPPY were nowhere near as melodic. They didn’t produce too many club bangers. They are kind of like industrial-psycho-monster jazz. Some of their atonal aural scapes and sound collages aren’t really music. I always skipped those (or played them in darkened room or something stupid and teenage). I listened to a few of their albums heavily. Cleanse, Fold and Manipulate, Too Dark Park, and Last Rights were all excellent albums. There are a few of those non-songs, but they just add to the ambiance. SKINNY PUPPY are all about ambiance.

(My favorite SP album)

They perform in costume, but unlike GWAR’s sleazy, outer space, scumdogs, SKINNY PUPPY are way dark.

I went to a show at the Hollywood Palladium in ’92 for their Last Rights tour. I was sixteen. It was my second or third concert ever (My first? RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS at the Greek Theater circa Mother’s Milk). It was scary, Loyal Reader. I was too small for the tumult.

(My second favorite SP album)

Before the show, me and my posse (I rolled with like eight others in a mini-van) gathered front and center and nabbed some prime real estate. As showtime got closer the lights went lower. The music on the PA got weird. They played lots of pre-show metal – Danzig and Ministry and the like, but as the show was about to begin, the band worked in part of their act. Those atonal aural soundscapes weren’t so atonal. They still weren’t music, but the electrified the vibe. The crowd began to swell.

Front and center and short is rough. As soon as the crowd began to lean forward, one huge mob of interlocking legs, stumbling and squeezing the hell out of each other, I basically got squished.

Seconds before they hit the stage the music on the PA cut out. The crowd swelled. The lights went out. The crowd went BONKERS.

More of those aural experiments zapped the air like lightning. Things on stage began to light up. A few TV sets played static then images of the grotesque.

Nivek Ogre (Kevin spelled backwards, folks), SKINNY PUPPY’S front man (they were a trio back then – the lineup has changed over the years), stepped from the darkness in the creepiest, full body monster suit I’ve ever seen. It was awesome.

Alas, I was swept about the arena on a tidal wave of wild gesticulation.

My teenage mind had officially been blown.


I stuck with them for a couple of years. The last album I tried was 1996’s The Process. They’ve had some stuff since them, but I fell off. The band suffered overdoses and deaths and have regrouped here and there. Last week I picked up their latest, Handover. The jury is still out. I gotta give it a few more listens. So far so good though. Some of it reminds me of their old stuff. One song sounded like Rob Zombie (which is also currently in out Car’s CD changer).

Perhaps it’s time for a Renaissance? Is that gothic, industrial drone compatible with the adult brain or was it merely a phase? Time will tell.

My wife is new to them. She hasn’t gave me her opinion yet, but I think she likes it. I’d ask her, but she’s taking a nap. The woman DOES NOT STOP. It’s finally caught up to her. I’m glad. She’ll get the sleep that she needs and she looks damn adorable sleeping.

Part of SKINNY PUPPY’s (what a lame name though, huh?) appeal is an undercurrent of madness, of dark, romantic madness that gets teenagers all nutzo. I’m too grown for that emo crap, you know?

So then, Loyal Reader, get out there (however you do it) and buy a new album, then listen to it and pick it apart. Blog about it. It’s fun.

Oh, and be sure to include video…


3 Responses to “Disposable Teens”

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