by Karl Geising
J. G. Thirwell has been putting his fist up music’s ass for more than a decade. Under various names (most involving the word Foetus and none of them wholesome), he has been producing sounds which are usually abrasive, sometimes violent, often misogynistic, and always brilliant. Most people have labeled his work “industrial,” and there is some truth to this; he’s influenced and worked with NIN, Cop Shoot Cop, Silverfish, Coil, and a slew of others too numerous to mention. He’s been doing his thing long before Al Jourgensen even considered writing synth-pop.
Null (Columbia) is his latest offering. It consists of three mixes of “Verklemmt” and three other songs. The remixes are disappointingly dance-oriented, and, in my opinion, best avoided. It is on the three non-album tracks that Thirwell shines: “Be Thankful,” a classic rant of victim-turned- victimizer; “Butter,” whose slide guitar and lyric imagery suggest either Western oil wells or forced anal penetration; and my personal favorite, “Into The Light,” a lilting/horrific piece which turns the famous line from Poltergeist into the only means of escape for a sexually abused child.
These three songs make this EP worth your money. A word of caution, however: With the exception of “Into The Light,” they all sit smack-dab in the middle of the industrial genre. Foetus albums have always been better when they’ve had space to develop; this EP is no exception. Good as these songs are, the full-length Gash is still better. Having said that, though, it still kicks the shit out of everything else.