Genre: Industrial/Techno
Artist: Skinny Puppy
Album: Rabies (1989, Nettwerk Records), Track 5
Credit: Nivek Ogre (lyrics), Skinny Puppy

"Rabies" was produced by Al Jourgensen (of Ministry) and by all accounts, it was a very bad collaboration. Dwayne Goettel and cEvin Key felt that Jourgensen "hijacked" the album from the band. Given that Ogre brought Jourgensen in, this caused a huge rift between the bandmates, and led to a very difficult production process. In fact, it almost lead to the band breaking up. It should be pointed out, though, that tensions had been brewing among the three for some time when recording began on this album. To top it off, after it was completed, a CD pressing error caused the first release to sound "muffled" and not really like the band intended. (Subsequent pressings corrected the error.) Most fans consider the album more or less a failure, except for two tracks: Worlock and Choralone.

In addition to being a part of the "Rabies" LP, Worlock was released as the album's second single in 1990. The single release includes an extended remix of the LP release (which is also included) and concludes with a remix of Tin Omen and an interesting (if obnoxious, in that glorious way that only Skinny Puppy can be) track called "Brak Talk".

This song has been variously described as being about clinical depression, breaking up, being an outcast, even as an anticensorship theme. In reality, this song is a return to the common theme of animal testing and animal cruelty. But, like so many of Ogre's songs, it has that wonderful attribute called mutability. Ogre often twisted the "real" lyrics during live performances, invoking new meaning in the songs on stage. Sometimes he did this with specific intent, sometimes they were just mutations. One could argue that the different interpretations of this particular song are due to people hearing different versions of the song. (This particular listing is from the studio recording.)

In addition to the lyrics listed, there are a number of samples of Charles Manson. The samples come from the 1972 documentory Manson (directed by Robert Hendrickson and Laurence Merrick, written by Joan Huntington and Laurence Merrick). Some of these are random, but one in particular I have always found very disturbing (in any context). That sample is Manson trying to sing The Beatles' Helter Skelter. This comes in between the third and fourth "verses" of Worlock. Helter Skelter was, of course, the "anthem" of the Manson Family.

The video for this song can best be described (not unlike The Ring) as a recording of someone's nightmare. A montage of horrible images won this video an "X" rating. From murder to suicide, torture to animal slaughter, this graphic piece visually illustrates the very things that the song talks about. The montage allows the band to bring home the point - what we do to animals is horrible - by translating those actions to human beings. Would you want your child growing up to be a slaughterhouse operator? Certainly not after watching this. The video ends with a slaughterhouse floor being hosed down; it's easy to see why this piece never ended up on MTV.

The presentation of this work attempts to visually lay out the lyrics as they are performed. Items listed with ?? after them are other possible lyrics; ?? by itself represents a word that defies decoding (the vocoder makes it very hard to understand some of the words).

binge - cringe

sloppy - binge

sloppy (mincing)
eyedropping - biopsy
cyclops overlooks
optic options (functions??)
rotten - showstopper - (skinpopper)
babbler dabbler - self-confessed criminal
tore pen (taught??) in vain (vein??)
instant still spellbound
game stock - talk back rock
reencounter incident
subsistence is inexistant
unwitted - oblivious
habitual resistor
roughed up edge - fluent nudge
pre-collect ignition
motivation inexistant

wasted views
that's all they see blue
hot blood
optic nerve
with the right attitude you will succeed blue
self abusive recluse
too late for me
made shifting peace
unsettling - crazy - do crazy things
keep your eyes open
soft spoken changes nothing
a view so cruel (a view!)

dog's body comatose
torchlight roast
disinterest! disinfect!
retold - impressed by possession (position??)
insiders know refresh
detained - contest
off and (author's?? are those??) pure
sure tonight
freeze in time
shadows climb - distractions override
instincts evolved
over and over

I can see again??

wasted truth
why call at all blue
hot lines
eventual decline
with the right attitude you will succeed blue
resent that discontent
define the state of things (so far)
crazy things
soft spoken at ??
with your eyes open
you know soft-spoken changes nothing
a view so cruel
a view so cruel [x 10]

binge - cringe - on the fringe??
eyedropping - ?? rotten - showstopper, skinpopper
a babbler and dabbler!

~ Skinny Puppy ~
Track #5 from "Rabies" (1989)

CST Approved!

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