Wednesday, May 25, 2011

You've Got Foetus on Your Discography

I love Foetus. JG Thirlwell is one of my favourite artists ever. Though I've never heard a note of his music.

I'm going to look some up on Youtube and play it while I write this entry, so my opinion might change be the end of it.

Anyway, there are some artists who merely have awesome discographies, whose collected works are cool to look at, even if you never put them on the turntable. JG Thirlwell has been around since 1981, releasing work at a relatively manic pace. Some has come out under names such as Steroid Maximus, Manorexia, Clint Ruin or - oddly enough - as JG Thirlwell. But those aren't the interesting aliases. The ones that are trule awesome are the ones that are, when considered as a whole, called the 'Foetus' discography.

Some of them, particularly more recent ones, are attributed to 'Foetus'. But that`s no fun: in the early days the releases would come out attributed to a wide variety of names, all of which contained the word 'Foetus', and all of which could presumably be found filed under 'F' in whatever record store stocked these independently-released albums. These aliases include, listed by degree of awesomeness, 'Foetus, Inc.', 'Foetus Art Terrorism', 'Foetus Corruptus', 'Foetus Interruptus', 'Foetus Over Frisco', 'Foetus Über Frisco', 'Foetus under Glass', 'Scraping Foetus off the Wheel', 'You've Got Foetus on Your Breath' and 'Phillip and His Foetus Vibrations' (I don't know why it's that last one I like so much).

While many of these names appeared on singles or EPs, the albums also all have the particular quirk of possessing names that are exactly four letters long. They include Deaf, Ache, Hole, Nail, Thaw, Rife, Sink and... well, you get the idea. The original covers are in strict black and white, then they are in black, white and red. Then there's yellow, and then eventually they get to be full colour. They tend to have graphic designs for covers, very often featuring images from Communist China propaganda.

The whole recorded works exist wonderfully in a world of their own creation, seemingly unmoved by anything else happening around them. I doubt they were popular, and I doubt they're much sought after now. But their uniqueness just makes them awesome. They are a universe unto themselves.

A few covers:

Incidentally, my verdict? Not bad, really. Not as interesting as I'd been hoping, but acceptably listenable. Still, the music can't touch those covers...


  1. might disagree somewhat .... the music and the covers are both awesome

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