Leif H. (Leif) from CROSS PLAINS, WI Reviewed on 8/10/2006...
Audio from a live performance, taken from a video of the same name. A classic.
Words like ice Cut and slice Announce my demise Christ why'd
Jonathan Dedward | Nowheresville, Slothwestern North America | 09/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD is a nearly flawless recording of a show from Skinny Puppy's 1987 'Cleanse, Fold, and Manipulate' tour. As such, the sound quality is terrific and actually quite well mixed. I assume this was recorded straight off the soundboard, because there is little to no noise from the audience during the songs, but I could be wrong.
Some have been tempted to recommend this as a 'greatest hits' style compilation as well as a great concert document, because this contains many of the band's best tracks from their first four albums. I'd have to say that's a bit misleading, however. These are very harsh and aggressive versions of songs that were already somewhat harsh to begin with and that may turn off some who are just starting to appreciate the band's novel approach to music. While not drastically different in their concert form, everything is quite a bit more dense and chaotic here. Skinny Puppy turned up to 11.
Ogre's words are often even more garbled with distortion and there are many more layers applied to the familiar beats and rhythms Puppy provided on studio recordings. It's all very aggressive, heavy stuff. Dancey tracks like "Assimilate" are here presented with bleak intensity; sharpening the despair in the lyrics and reducing the club-friendly polish. "Anger" was a somewhat murky and subdued affair on 'Cleanse, Fold, and Manipulate,' but here it is pounding and ferocious. "Dig It" loses its electronic sheen and turns messy, drenched with guitar feedback. "One Time, One Place" features some gorgeous synth playing from Dwayne Goettel between squealing electronic punctuations. This concert performance is beautiful in an ugly way. It's powerful, arresting at times and I believe this gives us Skinny Puppy at their best. It's also almost almost too punishing and stark, sometimes unnervingly so. I like to listen to this loud, but usually make sure no one else is around first. Music this savage isn't very conducive to social interaction or peaceful cohabitation.
For me, this sort of signifies the end of Skinny Puppy's early (and best) period. Some very good work followed this, but when their next studio album arrived something seemed different. 'Ain't it dead yet?' shows us the period when the band were at their peak. They still enjoyed what they were doing, still got along and were consistently refining their art and growing as musicians. Easy five stars for this."
Electric chair..............electric chair...........
J. Smolik | Indiana | 01/10/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the first Puppy Cd I ever heard, and this is what got me addicted to them. After this Cd, I went out and bought all the Puppy Cds. Every song on here is great, even all the Brap. If you ever get a chance to buy the actual video recording of this perfomance, buy it, its insane. You thought Manson was crazy on stage, think again, Ogre is the greatest."
The best Skinny Puppy album
Bret | USA | 05/25/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I said it, and I mean it. This is their best. Even though there aren't any new songs on here, the way that it is put together... with all the songs flowing beautifully into eachother, makes this CD a better experience than any other Puppy album. If you like Skinny Puppy I would hope that this CD is in your collection, or at the top of your shopping list."
Vintage Live Skinny Performance
Ernest Unity | Washington, DC, USA | 07/26/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Actually the soundtrack from the concert video release by the same name, it does this band justice when you take into account that Skinny Puppy's sound relies so heavily on studio wizardy. Granted, a great deal of the musical content is canned, the live elements, like precussion and guitars add nicely to the original songs, "Dig It" especially sounds great with the huge live guitar. The credit really goes to vocalist Nivek Ogre for pulling it all together. He delivers a freakish nightmare of a performance that lives up to the heavily edited vocals from the album versions of the songs. Oddly compelling are the bits between songs where he is trying to communicate from behind the thick wall of reverb and distortion on his vocals, like somekind of unintelligable psychotic freak. One slightly annoying thing about this cd is that it is recorded as one long track with no way to skip to particular songs, I guess the intention being that you have to listen to the whole thing. I would love to see a DVD release of the video version of this album, because as good as the cd sounds, seeing Skinny Puppy do their weird performance art style live show adds much more to the experiance."