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Skinny Puppy - Too Dark Park

Too Dark Park, for many the Pups finest moment straddling that line between genius and totally off the wall. Containing some truly classic cuts this album shows Puppy at their creative best before the slide into drug hell that led to their decline after Last rights. But here the maniacal is perfectly set again the restrained resulting in ten great songs. Kicking off in chaotic raging fashion ‘Convulsion’ is a mass of samples, noise and yelling vocals from Orge. Second track is one of my favourite all time puppy tracks. ‘Tormentor‘. Huge array of sounds and texture used here, and a great hook with the vocals. The production capturing perfectly the harsh quality of the electronics but keeping all the frequencies in check, allowing Orge voice a more central role. “Mental shock!!!”

‘Spasmolytic’ is third on offer another classic track with a darker more downbeat tone, using some very interesting hollow sounding percussive elements that perfectly fit the songs bleak subject matter. ‘Rash Reflection’ is another creepy one, with lots of haunted house and string samples. The song is pushed along by another perfectly programmed set of beats, a theme that runs through the whole album. ‘Natures revenge’ slows things down with a brooding atmosphere contemplating destructive forces on earth, as with many Puppy songs, focused on man endless quest to destroy the planet. Some nice guitar work on this track, adding to the morose feeling of decay and urban sprawl. Nice vocal samples used also. A double whammy now of ‘Shore lined poison’ and ‘Grave wisdom’ which lead straight into each other. The former a more grim sinister track that is again driven on by unrelenting beat and synth work. Ogres vocals just the right side of sanity. Grave wisdom has more of a pop structure but with a fantastic chorus, a real jumpy number that has a powerful action to it.

‘T.F.W.O’ is quite like ‘Grave Wisdom’ but a bit more deranged and fast paced, lot’s more banging percussion and vocal manipulations. Perhaps a bit too jumpy next to the other tracks on the album. Track nine is the classic ‘Morpheus laughing,’ mid paced and creepy with nice soft synth work, Ogres, less abrasive vocals style for the most part, and a great bass line. Last is ‘reclamation2‘, a live track that has a very depressed sound to it. Slow a very brooding, almost choral in it’s structure if it were not for the percussion in the background. Like a slow motion build to a storm or wall of sound. Slightly strange way to finish the album, almost like it feeds straight into ‘Last Rights’ with it’s half crazed structure. A classic album from a band at the peak of their powers.