you know, i have been thinking about this a lot lately, about the common elements that link my favourite music from my favourite musicians.
for me, there's a rhythmic element to it that i find very necessary, not only with kick ass drums, but with other instruments played with a percussive propulsion. foetus gives me that, with his innate skill at making those sick beats, especially on the big trio of HOLE, NAIL and THAW. it was that rhythmic element that drew me in. it also draws me to turntablism, electronica, and instrumental hip-hip. i like the complicated beats, music you could probably dance to but you would have to be very nimble.
second, a very important element is the space between instruments. i can't stand the music that is this muddy wash of white noise where you can't tell one note from another, one instrument from another, this wall of sound approach with no subtlety. that's why i tend to love jim's stuff that is relatively sparse, like "you've got me confused with someone who cares" or "suspect," but i can't stand most of the stuff on GASH because it's just this squall of noise to me.
and there's the voice of the singer, which i tend to like high-pitched and clean rather than husky or gravelly. which, i think, is why digging Thirlwell's voice is a challenge sometimes, especially when he tries to sing. i prefer the rhythmic bark and sneer, as on "descent into the inferno" or the high-pitched whoop of "streets of shame," and the stuff on LOVE took me a lot longer to, well, love.
i also don't tend to like standard song structures, the verse-chorus-verse-bridge-chorus-chorus" sort of thing. if it sounds anything like that awful "breakfast at tiffany's" song by the deep blue something, i'm gonna fucking hate it. that's another reason i love foetus because, man, you're gonna get a lot, but you most assuredly ain't getting that, and even his stabs at conventional songs like "time marches on" are different than most of what you hear on pop radio.
so... i guess that's how i explain it... more rhythmic and sparse with touches of lush orchestration, unconventional structure... doesn't matter what genre of music it is... i like challenging music...