Since the early `80s, Jim Thirlwell and his various monikers (including
Scraping Foetus Off The Wheel, Clint Ruin and Steroid Maximus) have been
pushing the industrial envelope to the breaking point, taking the genre
into new, unheard-of and unimagined directions with each successive release.
With Gash, he's outdone himself once again, toying with the textures
and rhythms of big band jazz to supplement his artful chaos. While still
a faithful master of the shredded vocal and densely layered guitar torrent-conventions
established by Foetus long before Ministry or Nine Inch Nails were even
a glimmer in the genre's developing eye-Mr. Thirlwell is also a boundlessly
clever experimenter, bringing together seemingly incongruous sounds, instruments
and styles into a powerfully cacophonous whole. "Mighty Whity" and "Verklemmt"
are more straightforward, visceral Foetus hoe-downs, while "Hammer Falls"
uses a sitar, some crashing drum noise and gargantuan tuba squonks to paint
its sinister picture. "Slung" and "Steal Your Life Away" are full-blown
swinging jazz numbers, complete with muted brass and upright bass. The
space in between these two disparate styles is the knowingly dark and frightening
zone Foetus creates, shredding musical convention like paper.