Skinny Puppy

Skinny Puppy Live: Bootlegged, Broke and In Solvent Seas

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No one can talk about a Skinny Puppy concert without mentioning the kinetic visuals and lead singer Nivek Ogre's love of theatrics, so this no-video document of the electro-industrial group's 2009 tour is already up against those odds. Then, there are the recording locations which find the Canadians nowhere near their homeland (only fans from Warsaw, Bratislava, and Budapest get to listen for their own shrieks), plus there's the band's attitude toward live documents and their resistance to repeat tracks that have appeared on earlier concert releases. As such, hits covered by Ain't It Dead Yet? (1989) and Doomsday: Back and Forth, Vol. 5: Live (2001) are missing here, save the group's ever evolving standard "Worlock." Add it all up and Bootlegged, Broke, & In Solvent Seas is a souvenir for fans more than anything else, but "Worlock" points out everything the album does right, sounding grand and big as ever performance wise, and well-recorded, with layers of synths and sequencers dominating as Ogre emerges and disappears into the mix. Sit by the soundman at the show and this is what you'll hear. A full-bodied, live take of "Addiction" sounds wonderful in this environment, "Shore Lined Poison" sounds like a mechanical beast until its organic drum solo cuts through all cyber-chaos, and a fat, ten-minute "Assimilate" shakes the floor before exiting with a good two minutes of creepy ambience. Still, there are some weird segues, fade-ins, and most jarring, fade-outs, which make this less of a "you are there" experience than some might hope, so think of this as a weird, worthy re-imagining of the In Solvent See tour, then dig how they've readjusted the spelling for this live document, perhaps acknowledging the end of their label problems and their fans' undying support.

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