Thu 21 June 2001
Pop & Rock
Foetus, Easy Action, X-27
JG Thirlwell, he who is also known as Foetus, was an innovator.  His various works (most loosely under the Foetus moniker, as well as Clint Ruin, Wiseblood) were, back in the day, industrial compositions loaded with equal parts genre-smashing vitriol and off-the-wall creativity.  Foetus' various band names (Scraping Foetus off the Wheel, You've Got Foetus on Your Breath, Foetus Under Glass) were unparalleled in offensiveness.  The problem is, he's still around.  Like the ancient last buffalo that reeks of incontinence, Foetus has been making records through the nineties (all the aforementioned bands come from the early to mid eighties).  Thirlwell's most recent Foetus effort, Flow (Thirsty Ear), sounds, quite frankly, like pretty much every Foetus record ever made.  From the scattergun's worth of industrial crunching and mulching to the stylistic shifts (string arrangements hedge on cool jazz next to borderline metal crossing into industrial), to Thirlwell's raspy, threatening voice, this is damn near the exact same noise he was making twenty years ago.  In fact, I even dug out my copy of Hole (a Scraping Foetus off the Wheel effort) to make sure my memory didn't deceive; indeed, it did not.  It's as if Thirlwell has ignored what's happened in music since 1988 and just rolled along with his sound, and now it's just plain tired.  As much as it pains me to say, methinks someone has Foetus up his ass.
Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western.

Original source: New City, June 21 2001, By Dave Chamberlain

© New City 2001

23 Jun '01.