Last Rights (album)

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Last Rights
LastRightsAlbumCover.jpg
Studio album by Skinny Puppy
Released June 30, 1992
Recorded 1991 - 1992
Genre Post-industrial, noise
Length 52:54
Label Nettwerk
Producer Dave Ogilvie, cEvin Key[1]
Skinny Puppy chronology
Too Dark Park
(1990)
Last Rights
(1992)
The Process
(1996)
Singles from Last Rights
  1. "Inquisition"
    Released: 1992

Last Rights is the seventh studio by Canadian industrial band Skinny Puppy, released in 1992.[2] The album included a ballad ("Killing Game"),[3] a first for the group, as well as the dance-floor friendly track "Inquisition", and dense sound sculptures like "Download" and "Riverz End" (a joint remix of two tracks from the Rabies album, "Rivers" and "Choralone"). Amongst the numerous samples on the album, there are two taken from "The White Album" by The Beatles, with Revolution 9 and Helter Skelter featuring on "Love in Vein" and "Inquistion" respectively.

Last Rights received generally favorable reviews from critics and was the first Skinny Puppy record to chart on the Billboard 200. The album was supported by a tour, which would be Skinny Puppy's last for over 12 years. This was Skinny Puppy's last studio release for Nettwerk. In 1998, Alternative Press named Last Rights as one of the best albums of the decade.[4]

Production[edit]

Track 10, "Left Handshake", was omitted from the album because the band was unable to get clearance for the Timothy Leary samples taken from Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out, a recording for recreational background settings during LSD parties.[5] Henry Saperstein, owner of the copyright on the recordings in question, denied the band use of the samples (even though Leary himself did not mind). Bootlegs of the track were highly sought by fans. It was later released by the band as a limited edition CD called "Track 10" in 2000.[6] Several different mixes of "Left Handshake" appear to exist, one of which does not have Ogre's lyrics and has a much denser instrumental mix.

Release[edit]

Initial pressings of the disc released in Australia, and possibly elsewhere, were flawed because the track divisions were off by 4 seconds. This means the first 4 seconds are missing from the album, and there are an extra 4 seconds of silence at the end. Other copies released in North America had the same issue, except the first 39 seconds of the album were missing. It should also be noted, on this pressing, the track markers follow the original track times, and thus the first song ends 39 seconds before the end of track 1, and likewise, each song after starts within the track before it.[7] Canadian Columbia House releases were known to have the CD art from Tormentor, a single from their previous album, while the music and all other artwork is correct.

No lyrics are included in the packaging, as Ogre considered them to be too personal.[8] "Love in Vein" was a planned single by the band and was prepared for release, complete with remixes and b-sides, but was cancelled and not released. Some of the material intended for release on the single was later released on the Brap: Back and Forth Series 3 & 4 collection in 1996.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[9]
Entertainment Weekly B+[10]
Los Angeles Times 3/4 stars[11]
Select 3/5 medals[12]
Sputnikmusic 4/5 stars[13]

Last Rights has received generally favorable reviews from critics and was named by Alternative Press in 1998 as one of the best albums of the decade.[4] John Bush from AllMusic said the album was a technical and creative peak for the band, describing it as "ten years ahead of its time". He identified the song "Inquisition" as the albums pinnacle, and commended "Killing Game" as a successful attempt at a ballad. He pointed out that the instrumentation would on occasion drown out Ogre's vocals, but ended by saying the album was a "sonic masterpiece" which "undoubtedly influenced" groups like Autechre and White Zombie.[9]

In a review for Sputnikmusic, Trey Spencer described the album as "The soundtrack to a band tearing itself apart". He described how the album uses noise, "jarring percussion", and an assortment of found sounds to challenge its listeners, calling songs like "inquisition" and the opening two tracks "the exception and not the norm". He described Ogre's vocals as "angry" and "psychotic", and said that they gave the impression that Ogre was "drunk in a bar". He went on that the album closer "Download" made the rest of the music "seem like easy listening". Spencer concluded that the album's the lack of melody and beat is what made the music enjoyable and called it a "near-classic" industrial record.[13]

Jim Farber of Entertainment Weekly gave Last Rights a B+, describing the album as "a nonstop stretch of horrific soundscapes suggesting a rotting structure on the verge of collapse". He called the hooks "weird" and the dance beats "improbable", and likened Ogre's vocals to someone being strangled.[10] Jonathan Gold of the Los Angeles Times said that 'Last Rights' was the group's "most accessible music by far". He likened the album to early Human League and called it "an enormously ambitious work", best listened to on "grey afternoons".[11]

In a less enthusiastic review, Dave Morrison from Select magazine said that Last Rights was "pretty much par for the course". He called the album "genuinely astonishing at times", but concluded that it was "unfocused" and "often collapsed under its own weight".[12]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Ogre/Key/Goettel.

No. Title Length
1. "Love In Vein" 5:35
2. "Killing Game" 3:48
3. "Knowhere?" 4:18
4. "Mirror Saw" 3:51
5. "Inquisition" 5:17
6. "Scrapyard" 3:54
7. "Riverz End" 6:40
8. "Lust Chance" 3:54
9. "Circustance" 4:36
10. "Left Handshake" (See "Production")  
11. "Download" 11:01
Total length: 52:54

Personnel[edit]

  • Nivek Ogre - vocals
  • cEvin Key - drums, keyboards, guitar, bass guitar, production
  • Dwayne Goettel - keyboards
  • Dave Ogilvie (production, mixing)
  • Ken Marshall (recording, mixing)
  • Anthony Valcic (editing)
  • I, Braineater (cover painting)
  • Martijn de Kleer (synths - uncredited)
  • John Rummen (cover layout)

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1992) Peak
position
US Billboard 200[14] 193
US Top Heatseekers Albums (Billboard)[15] 10

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Last Rights Credits". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved August 26, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Last Rights". Discogs. Retrieved 2010-07-20. 
  3. ^ Bogdanov, V (2002). All Music Guide to Rock: The Definitive Guide to Rock, Pop, and Soul (3rd Edition). Backbeat Books. ISBN 0-87930-653-X. 
  4. ^ a b "The 90 Greatest Albums of the '90s". Alternative Press (125). December 1998. 
  5. ^ Wolanski, Coreen (2002). "Skinny Puppy: Every Dog Has Its Day". Exclaim!. Retrieved 2010-07-20. 
  6. ^ Lim, Stacy. "Brap...The Skinny Puppy Discography". Retrieved 2010-07-20. 
  7. ^ The Capitol USA CD release (CDP 7 98037 2) does not have any shifting of tracks and has a Track 10 lasting 0:00.
  8. ^ Blackburn, Mark. "Skinny Puppy—When There's Something Strange". SPIN Magazine. Spin Media LLC (June 1992). 
  9. ^ a b Allmusic review
  10. ^ a b "'Last Rights' Review (May 22, 1992)". Entertainment Weekly. ew.com. Retrieved 21 June 2016. 
  11. ^ a b Gold, Jonathan. "Skinny Puppy 'Last Rights' Review (August 2, 1992)". Los Angeles Times. articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 21 June 2016. 
  12. ^ a b Morrison, Dave (July 1992). "Sound Bites: Skinny Puppy - Last Rights". Select (25): 75. Retrieved 3 December 2016. 
  13. ^ a b Sputnikmusic review
  14. ^ "Skinny Puppy – Chart history" Billboard 200 for Skinny Puppy. Retrieved June 21, 2014.
  15. ^ "Heatseekers Album Charts (1992)" (PDF). Billboard. United States. Retrieved 26 December 2016.