Review Summary: "I've been paying rent too long..... now the mortgage is gone....."
In some circles, the name J.G. Thirlwell is synonymous with badass
. And who can blame these people? Since 1981 J.G. has always played by his own rules, his primary act Foetus a chaotic machine lumbering along with a distinctly misanthropic, tongue-in-cheek sense of humor. If there is one way to describe him, it is as definitive post-industrial. There is no other way, and God knows, I have tried (how many other Foetus reviews have I written here saying basically the same thing?). J.G. defines the landscape of everything that came after Throbbing Gristle and industrial records, a figure who is stuck squarely in the middle of it all but seems so out of step at the same time. Foetus is an anomaly. Foetus is the second coming of Christ. Wait, *** that. Foetus is God
Then why on earth does J.G. write such terrible music sometimes? Well, let me rephrase that. This man seems to me a ragged genius, someone who isn't traditionally versed in musical ability but somehow usually gets 110% out of what he does know, and is friends with enough accomplished musicians to get *** done. He sticks to his guns, yet never releases the same album twice. The thing I have a problem with is, that there is something always off
about what he does, kind of like a moldy cheese. This is the price one pays for experimenting musically the way he does, I guess. I can't shake it, but goddamn it I want to sometimes. The reason? When i'm in just the right mood and willing to forgive any shortcomings that plague his work, J.G. speaks to me like no other.
opens with what might just be the most badass Foetus song ever recorded, Mortgage
. The thing is, when I first heard it I ***ing hated it. I hated everything about this album, particularly the vocals. I can't say I enjoyed any of his albums much right off the bat, but in some sort of divine cosmic joke the rabbit at the controls in my head has been playing on me over time, it grew on me. In any case, Mortgage
is an excellent song, demonstrating a much improved production and modern industrial rock feel over Thirlwell's 80's stuff, continuing somewhat where Thaw
left off. The next track, Mighty Whity
hammers you over the head with an industrialised breakbeat, fusing it with elements of jazz, making for a weird concoction. In fact, this jazz element is prominent throughout much of the album as short trumpet stabs are peppered throughout most tracks, whilst the longest cut by far, Slung
, is an 11 minute long jazz freakout complete with Count Basie style rolling drums. Tracks like Downfall, Take It Outside Godboy
opt for a more pure industrial rock approach instead, the latter by far being one of the best songs on the album.
is an excellent album but unfortunately it is not without flaws, which is why I often say in some ways J.G. keeps getting better and better as he pumps out more albums but in others, kind of worse. They Are Not So True
is pretty offensive to all five senses, and Steal Your Life Away
is more than bland. Mutapump
is a fitting closer though, and well, everything else here makes up for it. I have no idea whilst I felt such hostility towards Gash
when I first listened to it, as when J.G. has his moments, I always find them thrilling ones.