Remission (EP)

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Remission
Remission (1984) cover.jpg
EP by Skinny Puppy
Released December 1984
Recorded July-Aug. 1984
(Mushroom Studios, Vancouver)
Genre
Length 24:09 (original)
39:33 (re-issue)
Label Nettwerk (Canada)
Scarface/Play It Again Sam (Europe)
Producer cEvin Key, Dave Ogilvie
Skinny Puppy chronology
Back & Forth
(1984)Back & Forth1984
Remission
(1984)
Bites
(1985)Bites1985

Remission is a 1984 EP by Canadian electro-industrial band Skinny Puppy, their record label debut and first release with Nettwerk.[1] The 12-inch EP originally featured with six tracks, then, a year later in 1985, it was released on cassette with five additional songs that lengthened the release to a full album.[2] This expansion became the default version of Remission.[3]

Release history[edit]

In December 1984, Remission was distributed through Nettwerk as Skinny Puppy's first major release. Despite being preceded by the embryonic Back & Forth EP that was limited to just 35 home-printed copies,[1] Remission is seen as the band's debut effort.[4] To complicate the matter further, most issues of the EP following its release year, 1984, were expanded with five additional tracks, retroactively turning it into a full-blown studio album.[3]

In 1993, Nettwerk released Remission on CD using the expanded track listing from the 1985 cassette release.[1] However, this wasn't the first time Remission appeared in the format; the EP's first CD release was in 1987, when it (along with the appended track "Glass Out") was combined with Skinny Puppy's 1985 album Bites to form the release Bites and Remission (a compilation distinct from the less popular Remission & Bites, which was also released in 1987 and also on Nettwerk, but that preserved the original track sequence of Remission and the European sequence of Bites).[1][5]

On May 17, 2018, cEvin Key released "Coma", an instrumental track created during the Remission era, through his YouTube channel.[6]

Background and composition[edit]

Both Remission and Skinny Puppy's follow-up album Bites were created before Dwayne Goettel joined in 1986 and helped to crystallize the band's hard, percussion-driven industrial sound.[7][8] As such, Remission features more synthpop and electro elements than Skinny Puppy would come to be known for.

In 2013, Skinny Puppy's 12th album (4th since being reunited without the presence of Goettel), Weapon, was released as a sort of spiritual successor to both Remission and Bites. Apart from containing a re-recorded version of "Solvent" from Remission, Weapon was deliberately created with antiquated instruments to achieve their early 80s electronic sound.[9][10]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[4]

Contemporary reception of Remission was mostly positive. The AllMusic review wrote that the EP "remains the Puppy's finest hour. The breadth of vision and amazing instrumental prowess of vocalist Nivek Ogre and sound-designer cEvin Key will likely never be transcended."[4] Retrospectively, Remission gained more praise, being cited as an important influence to many bands.[11] In an article about Skinny Puppy's broad influence, Alec Chillingworth of Metal Hammer wrote, "Al Jourgensen’s Ministry was laughable in ’84, whereas Puppy gave us Remission: an EP bursting with potential, exuding a dance-ready racket heavier than anything their contemporaries offered."[11] Fact placed Remission at number 19 on their list of 20 best industrial and EBM albums of all time, calling it "excellent electro-pop".[12]

Track listing[edit]

Original EP release (side A, Back)
No. Title Length
1. "Smothered Hope" 5:14
2. "Glass Houses" 3:24
3. "Far Too Frail" 3:41
Original EP release (side B, Forth)
No. Title Length
1. "Solvent" 4:37
2. "Sleeping Beast" 6:01
3. "Brap…" 1:12
Total length: 24:09
Expanded reissue
No. Title Length
1. "Smothered Hope" 5:14
2. "Glass Houses" 3:21
3. "Incision" 4:41
4. "Far Too Frail" 3:43
5. "Film" 2:51
6. "Manwhole" 1:44
7. "Ice Breaker" 2:46
8. "Solvent" 4:38
9. "Sleeping Beast" 6:01
10. "Glass Out" 3:25
11. "…Brap" 1:09
Total length: 39:33

Samples[13][1]

  • The songs "Smothered Hope", "Glass Houses", "Far Too Frail" and "Glass Out" contain various samples from Alfred Hitchcock's 1943 film Shadow of a Doubt"The world's a hell. What does it matter what happens in it?"
  • The song "Incision" contains samples from the movie The Tenant"Thou shalt return to the dust from which thou came, and only thy bones remain. The worms shall consume thy eyes, thy lips, thy mouth. They shall enter into thy ears, they shall enter into thy nostrils. The body shall putrefy unto its innermost recesses and shall give off a noisome stench..."
  • The song "Icebreaker" contains a sample from the film The Legend of Hell House"Think of me as your unseen host and believe that, during your stay here, I shall be with you in spirit. May you find the answer that you seek. It is here, I promise you. And now, Auf Wiedersehen."
  • The song "Far Too Frail" contains samples from a speech about pornography as an art by President Ronald Reagan.
  • The song "Sleeping Beast" contains samples from Dr. Helen Caldicott's Academy Award winning 1982 nuclear war documentary If You Love This Planet - "A 20 megaton bomb on Boston in 1962 was estimated to have created 2.2 million corpses.", "There'll be millions of corpses.", "There'll be nobody left.", "No art. No literature. Everything will be gone."

Personnel[edit]

All credits adapted from liner notes.[14]

Skinny Puppy

  • Nivek Ogre – vocals, keyboards, synthesizer, percussion, spooky horn[15]
  • cEvin Key – synthesizer, drums, percussion, tapes, vocals, treatments, production

Additional personnel

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Kern, Jay (2010). Skinny Puppy: The Illustrated Discography (Second Edition). Mythos Press. p. 14. 
  2. ^ "Remission cassette Discogs entry". discogs.com. Discogs. Retrieved January 3, 2018. 
  3. ^ a b "Remission Discogs release history". discogs.com. Discogs. Retrieved January 3, 2018. 
  4. ^ a b c "Skinny Puppy, Remission". allmusic.com. AllMusic. Retrieved January 1, 2018. 
  5. ^ "Remission & Bites Discogs entry". discogs.com. Discogs. Retrieved January 3, 2018. 
  6. ^ Key, cEvin. "Skinny puppy- coma 1983 ( cevin key instrumental )". YouTube. Retrieved May 17, 2018. 
  7. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Skinny Puppy Biography". allmusic.com. AllMusic. Retrieved January 3, 2018. 
  8. ^ DiGravina, Tim. "Skinny Puppy - Mind: The Perpetual Intercourse". allmusic.com. AllMusic. Retrieved January 3, 2018. 
  9. ^ "Ogre of Skinny Puppy talks Guantanamo Bay and "Weapon"". chaoscontrol.com. Chaos Control. Retrieved January 3, 2018. 
  10. ^ Burnsilver, Glenn. "Skinny Puppy: "We Spent an Unnecessary Amount of Time on hanDover"". phoenixnewtimes.com. Phoenix New Times. Retrieved January 3, 2018. 
  11. ^ a b Chillingworth, Alec. "How Skinny Puppy Changed Metal". teamrock.com. Metal Hammer. Retrieved January 3, 2018. 
  12. ^ Clouston, Richard. "The 20 best industrial and EBM records ever made". factmag.com. Fact. Retrieved January 3, 2018. 
  13. ^ Cigéhn, Peter. "Skinny Puppy samples (The Top Sample Lists)". skinny-puppy.byrdt.org. The Top Sample Lists. Retrieved January 2, 2018. 
  14. ^ Remission (vinyl liner notes). Skinny Puppy. Nettwerk. 1984. 12 NTWK 12. Retrieved May 22, 2018. 
  15. ^ Ogre, Nivek; Alacrity, Jason (November 18, 2013). "Litany webchat with Ogre and Jason Alacrity" (Interview). Interviewed by Corey Goldberg. Litany.net. Retrieved May 21, 2018.