The Singles Collection

Where would we be without colossally reverbed snare thuds and histrionic vocal chants?...

Where would we be without colossally reverbed snare thuds and histrionic vocal chants? How would we cope without obtuse lyrical gravitas and squelching monotonic Moogs? Indeed, would the musical world have survived without gothic industrial?

Of course it fucking would have. And what of [a]Skinny Puppy[/a]: proto-dark wave electro moodists who, between 1984 and 1992, laid the foundations for all things horrifyingly black and steely? Indeed [a]Trent Reznor[/a], Marilyn Manson and Al Jourgensen can partly thank the Pups for their spuriously successful careers.

Essentially, this singles collection serves to remind us of how feeble darkcore is without a [I]soupgon[/I] of genuine psychosis. The Swans, arguably, were born with the curse. [a]Skinny Puppy[/a], meanwhile, affected the right shapes, looped the right spooky loops, grunted the right grunts, then probably sat back in their mum’s house with a nice cuppa to watch the misfits flock to their coven.

Even as second-generation gloomists Cabaret Voltaire got there first there’s no revolutionary innovation or nostalgic fondness to milk here, despite gruntman Nivek Ogre‘s admirable ethical bent. If the dirges aren’t steeped in mock fear (‘Warlocked’, ‘Assimilate’), they’re dripping in foolish melodramatic dialogue samples (‘Stairs And Flowers’). Every shuddering apocalyptic beat invoking the legacy of trowel-mascara’d goths stepping in and out, heads bowed, immersed in their black-mass hokey cokeys.

That people still endeavour to keep these musical ideas alive is testament to mankind’s ceaseless quest for rank embarrassment.

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