Review Summary: Overflowing with personalityFlow
. What a fitting name. Since the very beginning, Thirlwell has proven himself to be a very charming character when performing on his Foetus
albums. It wouldn’t matter what role he would play in his songs; he could sing about killing millions of innocent people out of pure prejudice and he would still have enough charisma to keep the attention and respect of listeners everywhere. His seventh full-length Foetus record, Flow, is perhaps the best example of JG Thirlwells talent at entertaining. His performance is absolutely beautiful on this record, as he simply flows with personality and energy. Flow
, what a fitting way to describe this album.
Thirlwell can simply mold himself into any musical style he comes across, as evident on Flow
. Whether it be sensual smooth jazz, jam-worthy industrial rock, or bone crushing metal, Thirlwell can and will find a way to make it sound great. The opener track “Quick Fix” is a mess of guitar loops, ear-splitting drum beats, and a chorus that could be heard a mile away. All of these samples and loops work together like pieces of a puzzle; they complement one another very well. They build on top of one another, forming a mountain of absolute beauty. The next track, ironically enough, is a very smooth and gentle number. “Cirrhosis of the Heart” includes a mesmerizing bassline, backed up with some casual keyboard work. The way Thirlwell croons on this track makes you feel like you’re in a sleepy night club, perfectly hiding lyrics such as “Every brain cell seems to short circuit/Spots before the eyes”
Perhaps the best aspect of this record how fun it is the listen to Thirlwell portray different characters. His over-the-top, testosterone-packed persona in “(You’ve Got Me Confused With) Someone Who Cares” is absolutely phenomenal. With lyrics such as “Pins and needles/Needles and pins/A happy man is a man that wins”
, he sounds like a walking cliche, but due to his delivery you can’t help but crack a smile when listening to this song. The bass is loud and thumps with a ring, and subtly pitched vocal harmonies add strong backbones to the track. “Heuldoch 78” shows Thirlwell portraying a king with an egotistic, “haha-i'm-better-than-you” attitude, which is nothing short of sweet. “Look at all the ugly people/Digging holes to pass the time”
, you can practically see him with a big, shi
t-eating grin when he sneers that line. What’s even better than JG’s performance is the instrumentation. The horn section is crisp, and sounds as if they were performing right next to you. The bass is bumpy and energetic, and the drums frost the track with pride. This track is a very clear highlight of the album, and the fact that the first words of every sentence sung in the chorus spells out “c*nt” is also a very big plus.
The only bad track that could be found on the entire record would be “Victim or Victor"”, a very sludgy jazz number where Thirlwell whines are layered upon a very distorted bassline. The track gets very old fast, and the lyrics such as “Crime is money/Money is crime”
are incredibly dull. Maybe it wouldn’t stick out as much if it weren’t for the fact that the rest of the album is incredibly solid. Such as the closer track “Kreibabe”.
Possibly one of the most unnerving tracks in the Foetus catalogue, “Kreibabe” starts with Thirlwell mumbling with an odd vocal effect, which makes it sound as if he is singing through an electric fan. The track builds up in a very intense fashion, after Thirlwell threatens us with lyrics such as “I know when you’re awake”
, chugging guitars and screeches of noise come into play, building up to an overwhelming orchestra. “Like a newborn native child/You were born to be defiled”
, Thirlwell screams, reminding us that the situation is very much hopeless. After what feels like years of heavy, crushing riffs, we’re thrown into a scary, uncomfortable violin loop that sounds like it’s swirling around your head, making you feel dizzy. Quickly, the loop crashes into an intense bassline, backed with a strange siren loop and a string section, only to go back to the nauseating violin loop from before. The musical hellhole is repeated over and over again until it’s suddenly cut off by the Thirlwell’s poisonous whisper:
Hush little baby, don’t you cry.
. What a fitting name. Ever since the beginning JG Thirlwell overflows with personalty in his music, which something that he practically perfected with this album. The album flows very well, each track seemingly fade into one another flawlessly. The instrumentation is beautifully great, each instrument flows with almost nothing to bump into. Flow
, what a fitting way to describe this album.