YEAR FORMED: 1983
HOME TOWN: Vancouver, British Columbia
Nivek Ogre (vocals)
cEVIN Key (electronics/percussion)
Skinny Puppy formed in 1983 in Vancouver, British Columbia, as a duo comprised of cEVIN Key (a.k.a. Kevin Crompton) and Nivek Ogre (a.k.a. Kevin Ogilvie). Following their debut cassette Back and Forth, Skinny Puppy recorded the EP Remission in 1984. This was to become the first of many recordings produced by collaborator David "Rave" Ogilvie. Though Skinny Puppy released their first full-length album, Bites, in 1985, the band would not be fully realized until the addition of Dwayne Goettel in 1986. Goettel's talent for sampling and soundscapes synergized with Key's ominous electronics and percussion, and Ogre's hard-hitting stream of consciousness lyricism, to form a truly unique paragon of industrial electronica. Subsequent releases like Mind: The Perpetual Intercourse (1986), Cleanse, Fold and Manipulate (1987), and VIVIsectVI (1988) served to further intensify the trio's style while simultaneously establishing their lyrical agenda. Often vitriolic and always astute, Skinny Puppy's commentaries on such issues as right-wing politics and animal cruelty would remain a thematic constant throughout much of the group's career. 1989 saw the release of the band's next album, Rabies. As typical for Skinny Puppy, Rabies explored both a continuation of sounds and schemas from their previous work while incorporating new vistas; in this case, it was the signature vocal and guitar sounds of collaborator Al Jourgensen. Ogre would continue to work with Jourgensen on several other projects, including Ministry, RevCo, and Pigface. Skinny Puppy's successive albums Too Dark Park (1990) and Last Rights (1992) took on much darker and more personal themes, and saw the end of their relationship with Nettwerk Records. In 1993, they signed to American Recordings and relocated to Los Angeles to begin production on their next album. After months of strife and dissatisfied recording, Key and Goettel returned to Vancouver in 1994 to finish production. Less than a year later, Goettel died of a drug overdose. In his honor, Key and Rave completed The Process and released it in 1996. It was to be the last album of new Skinny Puppy material until now. Though a multimedia collection of old tracks, Brap: Back and Forth, and remixes ReMix DysTemper (1998) would be released throughout the next few years, Key and Ogre focused more on their respective solo projects (i.e., ohGr, Download, etc.). Due to the contrasting artistic direction that Ogre and Key's respective projects appeared to be taking, a new collaboration between the two seemed unlikely at best. Yet the duo rejoined to give a powerful performance on August 20, 2000 in Dresden, Germany, (recorded on Doomsday - Back & Forth Vol. 5, Synthetic Symphony/SPV). Though fans feared that this reunion might never be duplicated in the future, the energetic music and theatrical stage performances proved that Skinny Puppy had lost none of their potency. After years of waiting, Skinny Puppy return with The Greater Wrong Of The Right, a breathtaking continuation of the path embarked upon with The Process. The experiments of the past few years have neither been forgotten nor diminished. Rather, in their condensed and highly dynamic style, they have forged an album that impresses first and foremost with its energy, vigor and stringency. Although all the traditional elements of the Skinny Puppy history have been integrated into the ten new tracks, their complexity and divergence develop little by little, in typical Skinny Puppy fashion: Demanding up-tempo tracks like 'I'mmortal', or 'Pro-test' with its brilliant rap elements synergize with intricate little masterpieces like 'Ghostman'; all of which continue to put the band's imitators in their places. Still The Greater Wrong Of The Right is an album which thankfully lacks any manner of forced anachronism or supposed nostalgic flair. With the support of a new generation of musicians, like Tool's Danny Carey (acoustic drum on 'Use Less') and Wayne Static of Static-X (vocals on 'Use Less'), it is, with all its dark brilliance, already one of the most outstanding albums of the year - and another milestone in the history of a band both exceptionally genuine and genuinely exceptional.