'Sink' (Self Immolation/Some Bizarre WOMB INC6/CD) ***1/2


'Thaw' (Self Immolation/Some Bizarre WOMB FIP5/CD) ***


'Nail' (Self Immolation/Some Bizarre WOMB FIP4/CD) *****


'Hole' (Self Immolation/Some Bizarre WOMB FDL3/CD) ****1/2

AFTER NEARLY a decade on the loose, it's time Foetus nailed down his past, irrespective of which laconic alias he was using at the time. His previous three Some Bizarre albums, 'Hole', 'Nail', and the unfortunate 'Thaw' should already be familiar to you, either in their vinyl incarnations or as a major influence on the works of The Young Gods, Skinny Puppy and Ministry. 'Sink', however, is new, whichever way you look at it.

 The product of his six years at some Bizarre, 'Sink' traces the Foetal route through the Death Race 2000 style impact of '84's 'Calamity Crush' single and the electro-compulsive 'Wash It All Off' to the deprivation of '87's 'Ramrod' EP. In between it captures such lost moments as a Dutch radio session - which contains the previously unreleased 'Anxiety Attack' and 'Spit On The Griddle (The Drowning of G Walhof)' - as well as snatches from a variety of hard to get compilations. With the exception of Foetal debut 'OKFM', what it doesn't contain is any traces of the extremely rare pre-Some Bizarre Foetus.

 'Sink''s problem is that it's trying too hard to be both a companion to Foetus' back catalog CD releases and a compilation of the best of Foetus. The result is that classic moments of Foetal material, like 'I'll Meet You In Poland Baby' (from 'Hole') or 'The Throne Of Agony' (from 'Nail'), which should adorn any, ahem, 'Greatest Hits' package are omitted, a move that relegates 'Sink' to the sidelines.

 'Sink''s strength is that it shows the humorous side of Foetus, the abuse of traditional sounds (the slap bass of 'Bedrock', the violently acerbic lyrics) and rhythms. What it lacks is the attitude of alienation and exploration that 'Nail' and 'Hole' possess. User-friendly Foetus is, after all, something of a contradiction in terms.

Source: Sounds of 14 April 1990, Sam King.

(Original text including mis-spellings left intact)

04 July 1996