Can we all agree that Nivek Ogre is one of the most underrated wordsmiths of our time?
His flows are alien. His voice is unmistakable. He is a showman in every aspect of his being.
Seriously, if Kanye West would’ve made a song like “comedown” (Or at least come up with the beats) and put it on 808’s & Heartbreaks, it would be huge. Such is the case when it come to the truly talented and by that, I mean never appreciated by as many as they should.
Most albums today have high points and low points and a few plateaus in-between. Not an ohGr album, though, and certainly not on his latest. On Undeveloped, ohGr’s fourth opus, there are no such things as low points and definitely no plateaus. It’s just hit after hit after hit, kids.
“101” starts off like a blast from VIVIsectVI-era Skinny Puppy and sees Ogre switch from a sinister sneer to a high-pitched voice-cracking wail while asking “Who do I have to fuck?” in the chorus. “screwme” starts off as a demented Buffalo Springfield song (No really, go listen to “For What It’s Worth” right now) and devolves into a pulsating sing-a-long.
Oh, and did I mention that the album gets stronger the further you get into it. By the time you get to the techno trance of “hollow” with its’ shimmering guitar lines from an ’80’s Billy Idol single (I’m thinking “Flesh For Fantasy” or “Eyes Without A Face” personally), you’ll be pinching yourself that Undeveloped is still this incredible. (It also gets better with repeated listens, so ya know.)
“traGek” has, by far, the best harmonies on all of Undeveloped. The pre-chorus gives way to such an anthemic chorus that you’ll have no choice but to agree with my opening statement (The rest of the song is musically bad-ass as well.)
Then there’s the segues. The electronic “101 intro”, the phone-call death of Michael Jackson re-enactment “crash intro” and the creepy “typer” with its distorted voices, menacing crescendos and yes, typing, that will have you simultaneously pulling the covers over your head and hitting repeat on your ipod.
It’s rare that you’d pick up a record today and find good song after good song after good song for a solid forty-five minutes to an hour yet here I am telling you that is indeed the case on Undeveloped. For those of us crying out for a new Skinny Puppy album, ohGr’s Undeveloped is definitely the next best thing. For those of us wanting a new ohGr album, Undeveloped is the one we’ve been waiting for…and might even make us forget about that other band he’s in for a little while.
Undeveloped is in stores on May 10th. Pre-order it here now.