In its nearly three decades of existence, Skinny Puppy has established itself as a groundbreaking innovative voice in the world of electronic music. Fearless in both its musical experimentation and voicing a stance on the issues of our times, the new album, Weapon, is no exception.
This stunning new album stands as a commentary on that which it is named after, the Weapon, or more specifically, to the concurrent glorification of the gun culture and simultaneous horror at the devastation the gun can cause. Given this view, the pop undertones of the albums opening “wornin” and the compelling counterpoint of the vocals and lyrics seem to reflect our mass media homogenization of an instrument of death into an entertainment centerpiece. “illisiT" could then be focusing on the authoritarian control applied to us under the guise of protecting us from the criminal element. Though possibly it is from the view of the average citizen, arming themselves against the threat of each other. The more it is analyzed, the more it could be pondered on varying levels. Perhaps the classic Skinny Puppy sounds evident in the song “solvent” are a nod to not only the past, but to a bleak Orwellian future, cycle of the weapon leads only to power in the hands of those who have no fear of using it. Are we facing a 1984 dystopia filtered through a Kafkaesque lens? A world where the illusion of power given to the private citizen afforded ownership of a weapon distracts them from the Big Brother drones that watch overhead?
Parallels could certainly be drawn from our own society to a track like “tsudanama”, where the ever building menace of the mechanized rhythms crashes over the listener in waves as the vocals at times seem to take the tone of the voice of protest, standing against the inevitable tide of the dystopian path of progress. Then does “plasiCage” implore the listener to take up the fight against a gun worship culture and the spiraling towards oligarchy? Or are the mournful tones “terminal” a funeral dirge for our society?
Could the weapon be the gun, or the one who wields it? Is it in creating an arms race among the populace, or does it lie in the resulting authoritarian control given to those who are charged with protecting us from ourselves? Is it the power to profit from the cycle? Is it the singular act of speaking against the conditioning of our thoughts and actions?