Foetus
Nail


4.0
excellent

Review

by ClintRuin USER (2 Reviews)
January 5th, 2009 | 45 replies


Release Date: 1985 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It isn't very pretty what a town without pity can do, quoth the foetus forevermore. This album is a bleak, black comic work of genius. This hack explains why:

Nail from Foetus is unquestionably a complex, multi layered piece of work. It's one that's worthy of serious study. Mr Jim Thirlwell (also JG Thirlwell, Clint Ruin, Steroid Maximus, Manorexia, Baby Manhole Cover, Ilikegivingmyselfnames and enough other pseudonyms to make the Wu Tang Clan blush) will surely in years to come be studied as a master of blending genres together to make something unrecognisable. He's a guy who blends sick jokes with doo wop, avante garde modern classical, metal, industrial, rockabilly and any other genre you can shake a stick at.

There's fun for all the family on this here platter. Some small children may leave the room screaming, the elderly may tut, and your Coldplay loving cousin will, as ever, be confused. However, this is surely an endorsement. Having sprung out of Australia along with Nick Cave, Rowland S Howard, Mick Harvey and other 80's born f***ed up geniuses, Thirlwell was a musically promiscuous kinda guy. He worked with Coil, Soft Cell, Mark Almond, Lydia Lunch (Courtney Love with more talent and better looking) and Orange Juice. The sheer range on display here is a taster for the album.

The album begins with a truly beautiful instrumental piece worthy of Bernard Herrman at his more restrained, before going straight into a song that sounds like The Cramps jamming with Tom Waits circa Bone Machine. The Throne Of Agony is even perversely catchy, as is a lot of the album if you can look past the hilariously bleak lyrics. These lyrics are the kind of lyrics delivered by some black metal acts, but the difference is they take this seriously. Thirlwell has an evil grin firmly in place.

! sounds like the title, it's just a quick burst. Pigswill follows, and it's again lyrically unpleasant in the best way, and resembles Halber Mensch era Einsturzende Neubauten if Tom Waits had taken vocals. The vocal resemblance to the man is uncanny, I wonder if they've heard each other" Descent Into The Inferno was performed on The Tube and Muriel Gray (she who made an idiot of herself in front of Scott Walker) was told prior to the performance "A woman's place is on my face". Descent Into The Inferno is again perversely catchy, going from a moody piece of semi-industrial-doo-wop-paranoid-showtune to a frantic rush of many instruments and things that make noises beneath Thirlwell screaming "GORY GLORY HALLELUJAH!".

See the bad puns are part of the appeal. Enter The Exterminator has a musical pun in the shape of an organ solo that's a clear rip from Hall Of The Mountain King. This takes it's place amid the usual litany of semi-comic torture. DI-1-9026 is the story of a serial killer and once more many genres crash into each other and fight messily. We then get a Wagnerian instrumental entitled The Overture From Pidgeon Come. This is followed by Private War, the track which makes his industrial leanings clearest to my eyes and ears. (Eyes" Synthaesia!).

DI-1-9026 is a classic, and one hell of a way to end an album. Built as it is around the bleak yet inspiring taunt of "I can do any goddamned thing I want!". This is a bloodstained revenge anthem which ends the album as it began. Completely over the top and all the more brilliant for it. This album is a work of genius, surely. Many people owe their careers to it. Ministry for one. Nine Inch Nails are another. As a sidenote, if Trent Reznor allowed his bleak sense of humour to appear in his music, another work to at least equal this would be produced, as both Trent and Jim are one man bands who can build awe inspiring layers of sound.

If you're not into industrial music, get it. If you are, get it. If you like rockabilly, or avant garde music, or metal, or punk, or....the list goes on. You will not regret accquiring this album. Even if you don't like it, it will be a new experience. Frank Zappa would be proud, he really would.


user ratings (104)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
Meatplow (4.5)
...

Supercoolguy64 (4.5)
Misanthropic music from a self-destructive world...



Comments:Add a Comment 
Meatplow
January 5th 2009


5524 Comments


Fantastic, I don't think i've ever seen another Foetus fan on this site I reviewed Hole a while back

The more I delve into it the collective output of JG is proving to be an unappreciated treasure trove of music that is slipping under the radar for so many. The modern classical pieces on this album are fucking brilliant, and there is so much chaotic goodness elsewhere.

The Throne of Agony, Pigswill and Descent Into The Inferno are my favourite tracks on here, unfortunately the latter half of the album slips a little for me (especially that fe-fi-fo-fum track which is annoying).

Thaw is probably my favourite Foetus album, but idk I love them all in one way or another and this is definitely up there. Good review.

JesusV4
August 4th 2010


391 Comments


I just got Gash, it's great. Does this have a similar sound?

Meatplow
January 1st 2011


5524 Comments


DESTROY... ALL... GIRLS!!!!!!!!!!!!

EpsilonJSTC
October 24th 2011


247 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Finally gave this a listen today, and it's SO DAMN GOOD. Now I regret not picking up Hole when I saw it at the record store today.

Meatplow
October 24th 2011


5524 Comments


Thaw is my favourite of his Foetus releases

also it is largely slept on but Manorexia's album released earlier this year was some really great
neoclassical/dark ambient

Vesper
October 24th 2011


3085 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

DESTROY... ALL... GIRLS!!!!!!!!!!!!


I laughed so hard the first time I heard this.

Meatplow
October 24th 2011


5524 Comments


yeah the percussion in that song makes my head spin

I remember walking round the supermarket in the middle of the day stoned off my tits listening to Hole back when doing such things for me wasn't unheard of, both these albums have really intricate things going on that blew my mind at the time

he's kind of lost a lot of his ferociousness over the years, but is making up for it in other ways. I can never quite explain how this guys work makes me feel

ThroneOfAgony
May 3rd 2012


3485 Comments


This album is outstanding. I love every song here. The choruses, and well, his voice, are probably the
best thing this album has to offer.


'Descent into the Inferno' is probably my favorite

HSThomas
May 3rd 2012


668 Comments


Yeah I've been digging the shit out of this album really. It's fucking awesome.

jefflebowski
June 2nd 2012


8573 Comments


awesome band, awesome album.

sad not to see this filed under 'Scraping Foetus off the Wheel' though, best name ever

YankeeDudel
March 9th 2013


9342 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Proto Mike Patton

Supercoolguy64
November 21st 2014


8951 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

jesus christ "Enter the Exterminator" is fucked up

Digging: Rabbit Junk - REframe

Supercoolguy64
January 7th 2015


8951 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i swear JG Thirlwell is a god damn musical genius

ArsMoriendi
February 27th 2015


26921 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Descent into the Inferno is my favorite on here. It's so strange in the best way possible and those lyrics are just awesome.

Digging: D'Angelo - Brown Sugar

Supercoolguy64
February 27th 2015


8951 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

it's hard to see out the window

when smoke gets in your eyes

and i just wanna cry, cry, cry, cry, cry, cry




yeah that song's pretty epic, i was gonna mention it in my review, but then i realized the rev would of been like 4 pages long if i mentioned all the songs i liked in it lol

Asdfp277
March 23rd 2015


21094 Comments


this sounds like old music

Supercoolguy64
March 23rd 2015


8951 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

you're old music

Asdfp277
March 23rd 2015


21094 Comments


i wish

TheCrocodile
May 21st 2015


2925 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

D-I ONE NINE O TWO SIX



D-I ONE NINE O TWO SIX

adr
January 16th 2017


12006 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

circus industrial, enjoyble though.



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