1995 CMJ Review Foetus: Gash


Since the early `80s, Jim Thirlwell and his various monikers (including Scraping Foetus Off The Wheel, Clint Ruin and Steroid Maximus) have been pushing the industrial envelope to the breaking point, taking the genre into new, unheard-of and unimagined directions with each successive release. With Gash, he’s outdone himself once again, toying with the textures and rhythms of big band jazz to supplement his artful chaos. While still a faithful master of the shredded vocal and densely layered guitar torrent-conventions established by Foetus long before Ministry or Nine Inch Nails were even a glimmer in the genre’s developing eye-Mr. Thirlwell is also a boundlessly clever experimenter, bringing together seemingly incongruous sounds, instruments and styles into a powerfully cacophonous whole. “Mighty Whity” and “Verklemmt” are more straightforward, visceral Foetus hoe-downs, while “Hammer Falls” uses a sitar, some crashing drum noise and gargantuan tuba squonks to paint its sinister picture. “Slung” and “Steal Your Life Away” are full-blown swinging jazz numbers, complete with muted brass and upright bass. The space in between these two disparate styles is the knowingly dark and frightening zone Foetus creates, shredding musical convention like paper.

CMJ New Music Report, Issue# 424 (24 Apr 1995), by Colin Helms.