Search - Skinny Puppy :: Bites

Skinny Puppy
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Skinny Puppy
Title: Bites
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Nettwerk Records
Original Release Date: 1/1/1985
Re-Release Date: 6/19/2001
Album Type: Original recording reissued
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Styles: Goth & Industrial, Dance Pop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 067003020121

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CD Reviews

Mutterings of death to bring Suffocate a newborn thing Degra
Jonathan Dedward | Nowheresville, Slothwestern North America | 08/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In 1985 Skinny Puppy released their second major work Bites. While not as bad as the title may suggest, it is rather uneven. Opening with a darkly delightful synth-dance song "Assimilate," this album starts off very strong indeed. "Blood on the Wall" is a slow moody instrumental that actually contributes to the stark atmosphere of the album. While not very accessible it is certainly evocative and compelling. "Dead Lines" is an easy favorite. With its electronic coughs and barks it clearly defines what made Skinny Puppy unique. It might even surpass some later songs in terms of layering and consistently surprising sound manipulation.

After track 3 the album drags a bit. "Church" is an atmospheric song that delivers a creepy tone but really isn't that interesting. A remix of "Ice Breaker" incorporates parts of Remission's "Manwhole," it's still good but not as remarkable as the original. "Tomorrow" and "Dead Doll are both mostly unremarkable. "Film" is a yet another migrant track from the original Remission EP and isn't noticeably different. "Love" however is a pretty interesting ode to depravity.

The second half of the album fares slightly better. "The Choke" has a bloody brilliant dance beat and brings Skinny Puppy's elegant songwriting back to the fore. "The Choke" is urgent, original and catchy, so damn good it hurts which is why they still play it at concerts. "Social Deception" is another good Bites sound scape: a solid beat and some subtle vocals from Ogre. "Christianity" carries the albums unsettling mood, but sadly goes nowhere and is short and easily forgettable. "Basement" however delivers a catchy rhythm to round out the end of the recording. "Last Call" is similar to "Sleeping Beast" from Remission, it doesn't fit in with other tracks but definitely has some great lyrical work. Finally, "Centre Bullet" and "Falling" while pretty seem to go on and on without any real definitive moments.

Sadly, what could've been a great album drags through its midsection and ends weakly. Bites is more sophisticated than Remission but less focused and intense than stuff Skinny Puppy would produce later. I still give it five stars because even in its weak moments it is still compelling and highly original. Do yourself a favor and listen to this (and most of their following recordings) on headphones to fully appreciate the multiple layers of sound in each song."
Disturbing, haunting, lovely, strange....
Matt Willimas | Virginia, United States | 01/22/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I must stress that anyone wanting to begin listening to Skinny Puppy must not judge upon first listen of any album by them. I remember first hearing this album a few years back and aghast at why I'd spend ten dollars on such a minimal, dated, plunkering electronic album.

It wasn't after half a years worth of listening and I was completely in love with this album. It's true I was in a dark place in my life, I worked at night alot and this (as well as other Skinny Puppy albums) were the soundtrack to my life between drives to and from work or my insane 2 a.m. walks at night. I can't think of a better album for a midnight winter walk with the stars out overhead.

To give perspective, its true bands like Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire jumpstarted the 'industrial' genre, and bands like Portion Control, Front 242, and yet again later Cabaret Voltaire injected dancier rhythms into the mix. Skinny Puppy took these influences and ran with entirely new heights! Ogre's snarled, bizarre lyrics are un-replicable. It's true the album is largely instrumental but Cevin Key gives us alot to chew on. Mincing bass lines, crunching analog beats, haunting washes of synths, blood curdling samples. He's repetitive at times and yet I would never accuse him of meandering. Nor does he find one cool effect or idea and beat the heck out of it for 5 minutes. There's a trance enducing effect to all he writes on here. Before Goettel introduced a whole new level of insanity into the mix on the following albums, this was largely Cevin's show and gives us insight into his techniques.

This album runs the gamut of moods, its true, its almost overwhelming perhaps even too long. Still, I'm too biased especially with all the memories of those long walks. Every synth line, beat, screech by Ogre, bizarre movie sample, my brain studied with fascination, even goosebumps. All of the songs are essential for the most part...a necessary part of the framework. Otherwise it would be incomplete.

You have your classic industrial songs like 'Assimilate' 'Deadlines' 'Last Call' and 'The Choke', each six minute songs of pulsing rhythms and fearsome vocals by Ogre, Cevin Key's engineering spitting up and chewing them out with delightfully demented effects. There's the creepy sample filled pieces like 'Ice Breaker' 'Blood On The Wall' 'Basement'. These all show Bites at its darkest ferocity.

Bites also segues into the weird. 'Tommorrow' is a bizarre chirpy piece that could set you on edge or into a trance. 'Dead Doll' may sound lame and proto-industrial, but you're missing the minimal demented fun of it.
'Falling' is by far the most endearing, with its laid back beat and cute synths but once Ogre begins his undecipherable rant its completely creepy.

Then Bites can transform into sheer beauty that Tangerine Dream can only wish they had. 'Film' and 'Christianity' are short pieces that seem like fluff offhand, but are trance inducing moments giving respite
between the other moods of Bites. Then we come to my all time favorite tracks....'The Centre Bullet' is reason alone to purchase this album if nothing else IMO. Nearly ten minutes of pure haunting bliss, this is my put-me-back together song, I absolutely love it. Cevin Key's finest hour of ambience in Skinny Puppy. And ending the album on a mellow note we have 'One Day', a rather uncharacteristic piece but wonderful nonetheless. Kudos for tacking this unreleased one on, Nettwerk.

Long review I know. Check this one out for yourself, especially if you're just getting into Skinny Puppy. It's older material, but let's face it...ANY Skinny Puppy is an acquired taste, but with each 'bite' it gets better!"