With a vibe that's somewhere between ELO's vocoder-drenched Time
LP and that long-lost satanic symphony we keep waiting for Air to record, Mythmaker
finds Skinny Puppy in a decidedly fresh-faced and experimental mood on its 12th studio album. That's not to say SP has gotten poppy
, it's just that rather than dishing out oppressive, post-apocalyptic claustrophobia, the Puppy has pulled back the musty drapes to let the sunshine reveal the awful world that lies right outside, right now. (For real, yo, there are birds chirping on the intro to 'Haze.â?�) It's always gratifying for a group with a near-quarter-century of legacy to push hard at the boundaries of its own expectations, and Mythmaker
succeeds exceptionally at redefining what Skinny Puppy sounds like. These near-orchestral arrangements, twinkling keyboard patterns and damned hummable melodies would be treacly in lesser hands, but SP manages to make even the prettiest sounds ' those birds chirping, for instance ' sound maniacal and ominous, even without the driving, synthetic metallurgy that once was the hallmark of 'industrialâ?� music.