1997 Under the Volcano Review Foetus Deaf/Ache Reissues

You’ve Got Foetus On Your Breath
“Deaf” / “Ache”

Thirsty Ear continues to reissue essential lost gems from the early days of Industrial music. They’ve given us the brilliant early works of Neubauten, Test Dept, and now for the first time in fifteen years, Foetus’ first two full-length releases are available once again! The years have not been terribly kind to some of this work, but one must view it in the context of its time period. Deaf, originally issued in 1981 on Thirlwell’s Self Immolation label, clearly illustrates Foetus’ influences at the time: No wave and new wave. The music seems inspired by James Chance and the Contortions (particularly in Thirlwell’s manic vocal delivery), and the campy beatbox, casio sequences of bands of that period. Some time before Deaf would develop, Thirlwell worked with English noise purveyors Whitehouse and Nurse With Wound, and this element of electronic mayhem helps give Deaf its power. Ache, issued in 1982, shows considerable progress, as Foetus’ trademark fractured Jazz sound appears for the first time, with synthetic horn blasts, brawling pianos and Jim’s caterwauling vocal squall. The songs on Ache are complex and densely arranged, hinting at the studio sophistication that would characterize Jim’s future work. Both Deaf and Ache are fascinating historical documents of an innovator who has yet to receive proper recognition for his significant contributions to modern electronic music!

(Deaf B) (Ache B+)

Source: Under The Volcano, issue #40 (Fall 1997)

By: Paul Lemos