ohGr – [Album]

Tuesday, 07 June 2011

Kevin Graham Ogilvie AKA Nivek Ogre has been putting music out since the early 1980s, best-known as one of the two founding members of industrial band Skinny Puppy. Decades after the launch of that band, Ogre is still neck-deep in the industrial scene touring with Skinny Puppy and, since Y2K, Ogre has been making music on the side on his own with ohGr; a decidedly lighter endeavor, yet still rooted in the Industrial scene which first got him noticed.

unDeveloped is comprised of thirteen tracks, but as it plays and feels much more like one long track as it slides from one robotically-sung anthem to the next fluidly. This fluidity is created with a skillful use of ambient soundscapes and samples which gently guide listeners from one song to the next, and upping the overall eeriness of the album at every turn.

Listening to unDeveloped is a harrowing experience. As I listen through my mind wanders to thoughts of bondage, black leather and dirty basements with dark-haired, rail-thin bodies congregating and committing unmentionable (or at least NSFW) acts. This album brings me back to moments in my youth – shopping for spiked bracelets and other high school heavy metal paraphernalia – when I’d walk into a gothic music/clothing shop, and am swiftly reminded that Marilyn Manson was not the darkest, scariest motherfucker on the planet.

Our introduction to unDeveloped is broken-sounding electronics and a morbid laughter. “Oh my god… what should I say about the world?” asks a washed-out voice. There is a sincere tone in the voice which asks that question, and is quickly answered with a slew of non-conformist and anti-establishment spewings all throughout the album. “101” starts off feeling like it was written in 1984. Heavy reverb coats the mechanical drum beat, and Ogre’s monotone vocals lay low; meshing with the rest of the track’s dark, industrial flavor. Chants of “burning down the system” and “Who do I have to fuck? I don’t know” lend a helping hand in revealing exactly what ohGr wants to say about the world.

Being a man of the twenty-first century and of its music, I cannot help but feel like I’m listening to one of the slew of current indie eighties revival bands as this record plays through. The main difference between this album and those of the the revivalists is that ohGr isn’t forcing gut-wrenching, poppy choruses into every song ohGr writes to keep their hipster fans with ridiculous haircuts dancing as they pretend not to be the Top 40 crowd they really are. This album feels like the real thing. unDeveloped feels like it is written out of love for creating music. Yes, it is weird at times, but such is the methodology required by the Industrial paradigm. I could argue that music which delivers visuals of S&M scenes is a little unorthodox, but I can also argue that unDeveloped is a solid album through and through, and I would recommend it to anyone into Eighties-era industrial music.



unDeveloped is out now. Buy it here on Amazon .

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