Foetus: Soak

(Ectopic Ents)

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Foetus is the one-man music operation of J.G. Thirlwell who writes, composes and performs all the tracks with occasional outside help. Soak, his newest album, is a progression and expansion of Hide, which was released in 2010. Thirlwell concurrently released an instrumental soundtrack to The Blue Eyes, a film by Eva Aridjis, under his own name.

Soak is worthy of the tag modern psychedelia. Thirlwell includes a non-stop range of sounds with accompanying emotions. Each song is it’s own journey down and sometimes up the rabbit hole, taking the listeners on a roller coaster ride of music.

Thirlwell starts the album with trumpets blazing and all the flair of a marching band in “Red and Black and Gray and White.” Followed by “Pratheism,” an operatic song that gave me a chilling image of people in hooded capes in some underground venue. Later on, he lightens the mood with “Kamikaze,” which is reminiscent of the Beatles if they took a few more hits of acid. “Spat” is perhaps the most intense song on the album; it conjures up feelings of being chased down a dark alley only to end up in Satan’s lair. Thirlwell concludes with “Mesmerin,” a relativity light-sounding track, which leaves one feeling relived to have made it through the journey.

Soak is over-the-top, slightly deranged and definitely unique. There is nothing else that can compare to the sounds produced on this album.  It takes one on a mind-altering excursion of sound and sensation. Thirlwell pushes the envelope indeed. I admire his artistic expression and willingness to try anything for the sake of art.

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