CD title: UNDEVELOPED
Label: Metropolis Records
Reviewer: DJ Kantrip
Undeveloped is the 4th release from ohGr, the side project by Ogre and Mark Walk. Undeveloped combines the darker tone and world building of The Devils in my Details with the lighter, but cynical tones from WELT.
The album opens with 101 which has a solid dance beat without sounding like usual club fare. Ogre's signature style spoken word lyrics release a litany of political and social commentary that is hidden within discordian phrases. 101 is an excellent example of the fusion of sounds on this album. As soon as 101 fades into the quiet and sample fueled opening to Crash, Undeveloped descends into a sound that is more akin to The Devil in My Details. Crash is an open commentary on the California Death Panels, that has a sense of desperation behind the rapid-fire pace of the lyrics and the beat. This frantic run stops suddenly and the sound of a oncoming ambulance, signals that start of another mad dash for some sanity in the ongoing controversy that is Socialized Health Care in the US. Fans of early Skinny Puppy will definitely enjoy the first portion of the album as it does harken back so some of the mood and feeling of Rabies.
Undeveloped's mood lightens on the the track screwMe. It starts with an ethereal tone leading out of typer, and slowly escalates to an uplifting chorus. The overall tone of the song is one of relief and joy, that is until the lyrics are listened to carefully. Hollow sounds like it would fit in perfectly with some Melotron, And One, or Beborn Beton. Light synths, and female backing vocals with a catchy pop feel to it. There is the really strong sense of irony to the whole track, as if fitting it into an Oontz-fueled Synthpop set would be slightly wrong. The album closes on a hidden track, collidoskope, which is this Reviewer's favorite song. Much like 101, collidoskope starts slow and with several voices welcoming the viewer to the Collidoskope, and then slips into a steady trodding beat that leads the listener into this creepy sideshow world.
ohGr fans of all stripes will enjoy this album. It combines the lighter and more dancey tones of the first two ogHR releases, with the darker more experimental tones of The Devils in My Details. Hardcore Skinny Puppy fans will enjoy this album since it harkens back to some of the sounds and elements of early Puppy albums. Undeveloped, also has the potential to have greater club play, since tracks like Hollow and bellew have catchy synth hooks and beats. This album is easily going into this reviewer's top 10 albums of 2011.
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