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Year Title Rating
1981 Deaf 6.5/10
1982 Ache 6/10
1984 Hole 7.5/10
1985 Nail 8/10
1987 Bedrock 7/10
1987 Wiseblood - Dirtdish 7/10
1988 Thaw 8/10
1988 Rife 6.5/10
1989* Sink 6.5/10
1990 Butterfly Potion 6/10
1992 Male 7/10
1995 Gash 5.5/10
1997 The Foetus Symphony Orchestra - York 7.5/10
2001 Flow 7.5/10
2005 Love 6/10
2006 Damp 5.5/10
2009* Limb 7/10
2010 Hide 7/10
2013 Soak 5/10

Review last updated: October 23, 2018


Jim Thirlwell is a mastermind of exaggeration - he has clouds of smoky charisma, red-hot testosterone, and abrasive musical debauchery, blowing out of his ears and creeping out his pores like research chemicals. He is best known (and rightfully so) as a solo composer, lyricist, and vocalist, who's massively colorful musical output is almost entirely artificial. Using studio manipulation, he synthesizes string sections, horns, choirs, bells, and psychotic demon background vocals, and each of these musical elements are convincing enough to sound like the real things. His primary music project, Foetus, has been authored under many, many different variations and aliases.

Even though he was initially associated with the early industrial scene of London and New York in the early '80s, Thirlwell is much more competent and talented as a performer and composer, than any of those early industrial projects. Deaf and Ache are nursery rhyme sonic booms, with cheaply-sequenced drum patterns and off-the-wall guitar distortions. That brings us to the black masses, masochistic demands, and genocidal propaganda of Hole and Nail. These albums were brilliantly arranged and intelligently produced.