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Skindive



Skindive's menacing combination of massive metallic guitar riffs, icy, detached female vocals, and harsh industrial beats should immediately recall Garbage. Only here, the nationalities are switched around -- in this case, it's three Irish men and an American woman. Guitarist and composer Gerry Owens is this band's Butch Vig: the music industry veteran who wanted to put together his own band his own way, in accordance with his own exacting musical aesthetic. He set about this task after returning to his native Dublin from London, where he'd spent a number of years playing in several undistinguished outfits. After writing an album's worth of material, he auditioned members for several months, eventually recruiting bassist Alan Lee and drummer Ger Farrell, but failing to find a singer. Enter American chanteuse Danielle Harrison, this band's Shirley Manson, a Los Angeles singer recommended to Owens by a rejected applicant. After receiving a call from Owens, she flew to Dublin, tried out, and got the job. Finally Skindive was a full band, and work began on an album.

It took more than a year for Owens and others to complete Skindive's self-titled debut, but when they did, they had an accomplished and diverse collection of songs. The basic formula is heavily industrial-flavored power rock, but Owens does plenty to complicate the mix, adding layers of distortion to everything -- vocals, guitars, drums -- as well as cold techno beats, orchestral string and horn samples, and more. Owens received production help on the album from Nine Inch Nails producer Adrian Sherwood and mixing services from onetime Skinny Puppy member Dave Ogilvie, who's worked in the past with NIN and Marilyn Manson, to achieve that distinctive slick-but-utterly-sleazy quality. The album's first single is the featured "Tranquilizer."

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