I’m not sure there is a single reader that will like this cd. Hell, I can’t even tell you with any degree of certainty that I like the cd, but since I can’t stop listening to it I figured I need to go ahead and write about it.

The band’s story is either mundane or awesome, depending on which of their many bios you read so I’m gonna choose one of the more fun ones. According the the band’s myspace page, The Sad Bastard Book Club came to existence somewhere in California in a cramped apartment with a floor stained with blood from the the previous tenant’s successful suicide. Over time, as friends and vagabonds in various levels of welcome wandered in and out of the apartment, the stain on the floor became something of a drunken late night conversation piece. They began to make stories about the life of the suicide victim, Carrie Anne Crowe, and those stories would eventually be put to music and thus The Sad Bastard Book Club and The Collected Short Stories Of Carrie Anne Crowe were born.

Is that true? Who cares? It’s interesting and fits the band and their sound like a glove.

Speaking of sound, how to describe the sound of The Sad Bastard Book Club is an interesting dilemma. You could call them doom-country, but I like that term for Those Poor Bastards, Sons of Perdition and bands of that ilk, and really, SBBC just doesn’t fit in with that sound. While listening to the cd I continually come back to the same comparison, and while most people will not get it I’m gonna use it anyway cause I think it’s perfect: Skinny Puppy.

Yes. The industrial group Skinny Puppy. If Skinny Puppy were to make folk music this band is exactly what they would sound like, and like Skinny Puppy, it’s hard to decide if you love it or not at times but you just keep coming back to it. For those familiar with Skinny Puppy I’ll get real precise and say that had The Process been a country/folk album, it would be The Collected Stories Of Carrie Anne Crowe.

Check out the samples and decide for yourself.

The Sad Bastard Book Club – Do You Know What Two Cents Would Have Bought You In My Day
The Sad Bastard Book Club – Thank You Corpses! Your Help Has Been Vital To Our Efforts
The Sad Bastard Book Club – Eviction Party In The United State Of Nebraska!

The Sad Bastard Book Club’s Official Site, The Sad Bastard Book Club on myspace, Buy The Collected Stories Of Carrie Anne Crowe

Skinny Puppy: Past and Present

I’m not gonna sit here and tell you I was ever a gigantic Skinny Puppy fan. Truth is, up until The Process came out there wasn’t a Skinny Puppy album that I could listen to from beginning to end. I liked the club hits well enough, but outside of that, I had no use for Skinny Puppy. As you might imagine, this was complete blasphemy in the goth/industrial scene but it was what it was. Then in ’96, The Process came out and I “got” Skinny Puppy. As luck would have it, most Skinny Puppy disciples hated the release. After The Process the band dissolved and over the years I moved away from the industrial scene, sold or lost The Process, and basically forgot about the band….and eventually the entire genre.

The other day I was in my local record store and I see that they have a Skinny Puppy cd at the listening post. I assumed it was a greatest hits collection, hoping to listen to Killing Game, only to see it was a new release. So I figured WTF? I was in there looking for a reason to spend 20 bucks anyway. This was as good as anything else so I picked it up along with a used copy of Last Rites so I could hear Killing Game. I really wasn’t expecting to like this cd as much as I do. I suspect it works like this, if you hated The Process you are not gonna like this cd, and if you were into The Process then you are gonna “dig it.” It seems to me that they took the more accessible direction they were heading in with The Process, made it more electronic and meshed it with what Nivek was or is doing with ohGr. Mythmaker would make for a perfect jumping in point for people who have always heard of, but never actually heard Skinny Puppy. It has kind of rekindled my interest in a genre I long ago quit paying attention to.

Editor’s note: This is the first post I’ve edited that got my blood flowing. Yeah, I admit, I’m a huge SP fan. They were before my time, but I did manage to see them live after they regrouped several years ago. I drove all the way to Atlanta and then Jacksonville to see ohGr, and was able to meet both Nivek and cEvin Key backstage thanks to my girlfriend knowing the right people. I loved the work ohGr did with KMFDM, and what cEvin did with Download. I liked The Process. Then I moved on. I’ve listened to Mythmaker several times and it’s not a bad album. I honestly like The Process more, maybe out of sentimentality. Still, when I listen to SP now, I always go back to VIVIsect VI. I LOVE that album. It’s full of all the horror and frustration at the sickness in the world, fueled by heroin, and breathes an intensity that few albums in the genre have ever managed to achieve. It could also be called the beginning of the end for SP. Three albums followed VIVIsect VI; Rabies, Too Dark Park, and Last Rights in 1991, all brilliant in their own way, complex, and not for the faint of heart. The band imploded with the death of Dwayne Goettel in 1995 and from complications in the recording of The Process. Their defining years behind them, a reconciled Ogre and Key released a somewhat disappointing The Greater Wrong of the Right in 2004. Mythmaker may in fact be a great jumping in point for a remarkable band, but to a true SP fan you can’t help but miss the down and dirty sound of those past albums.

Skinny Puppy – politikiL
Skinny Puppy – jaHer
Skinny Puppy – pedafly

Skinny Puppy – Killing Game
Skinny Puppy – Dig It

Skinny Puppy’s Official Site, Skinny Puppy on myspace, Buy Mythmaker

Here are some videos of the Skinny Puppy hits thanks to youtube. Nostalgia for old school fans or a quick history lesson for SP newbies….enjoy but be warned, some of these these are not work safe and probably not for the weak of stomach:

This is the original video for Worlock:

This is the original video for Testure:

This is the original video for my second favorite Skinny Puppy song ever, Smothered Hope:

and finally, the video of my favorite SP song, Killing Game: