Foetus is the primary musical outlet of industrial music pioneer J. G. Thirlwell. Until 1995 the band underwent various name changes, all including the word foetus fetus . Monikers adopted at different times include Foetus Under Glass, You've Got Foetus On Your Breath and Scraping Foetus Off The Wheel. After 1995 the name permanently became Foetus, though the related project The Foetus Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1997 and continues.
Thirlwell acts as the sole instrumentalist, vocalist, songwriter and producer for all Foetus works and as such is the only member of the band. Other artists may occasionally collaborate with Thirlwell on Foetus works but are not considered members of Foetus. Thirlwell is solely responsible for the musical output of the band.
J. G. Thirlwell has many side-projects, in which he frequently goes by the name Clint Ruin. One such grouping is Wiseblood Wiseblood (band) with former Swans Swans (band) member Roli Mosimann. The material tends toward the realm of the darkest and most ***ual Foetus songs, with Mosimann's Swans lineage showing in the slow, crushing pacing of many tracks. Thematically, Wiseblood's lyrics center around the misanthropic exertion of power, typically via murder, *** or assault. Wiseblood existed on-and-off from the mid 1980s through early 1990s.
Foetus's videos have been directed and contributed to by artists such as Karen O, Spike Jonze, Sam Sohlberg, Matt Bass and many others.
*Deaf Deaf (album) – You’ve Got Foetus on Your Breath (1981)
*Ache Ache (album) – You’ve Got Foetus on Your Breath (1982)
*Hole Hole (album) – Scraping Foetus off the Wheel (1984)
*Nail Nail (album) – Scraping Foetus off the Wheel (1985)
*Thaw Thaw (album) – Foetus Interruptus (1988)
*Gash Gash (album) – Foetus (1995)
*York (First Exit to Brooklyn) – The Foetus Symphony Orchestra feat. Lydia Lunch (1997)
*Flow Flow (album) – Foetus (2001)
*Love Love (Foetus album) – Foetus (2005)
*Hide Hide (Foetus album) – Foetus (2010)
Live, remix and compilation albums
*Rife – Foetus Corruptus (1988)
*Sink Sink (Foetus album) – Foetus Inc. (1989)
*Male Male (album) – Foetus in Excelsis Corruptus Deluxe (1992)
*Boil Boil (album) – Foetus (1996)
*Blow Blow (Foetus album) – Foetus (2001)
*Damp Damp (album) – Foetus (2006)
*Vein Vein (Foetus album) – Foetus (2007)
*Limb Limb (album) – Foetus (2009)
EPs, singles and miscellaneous
*Spite Your Face/OKFM – Foetus Under Glass (1981)
*Wash It All Off – You've Got Foetus on Your Breath (1981)
*Tell Me, What Is the Bane of Your Life – Phillip and His Foetus Vibrations (1982)
*Custom Built for Capitalism – Foetus Over Frisco (1982)
*Calamity Crush – Foetus Art Terrorism (1984)
*Wash/Slog – You've Got Foetus on Your Breath (1985)
*Finely Honed Machine – Foetus Über Frisco (1985)
*The Foetus of Excellence – The Foetus of Excellence (1985)
*Bedrock Bedrock (EP) – Foetus All-*** Revue (1987)
*Ramrod Ramrod (12") – Scraping Foetus off the Wheel (1987)
*Butterfly Potion – Foetus Inc. (1990)
*Somnambulumdrum – Foetus Inc. (1992)
*Vice Squad Dick – Foetus/Chrome Cranks (1994)
*Null Null (EP) – Foetus (1995)
*Verklemmt/Be Thankful – Foetus (1995)
*Überschall 1996 – Foetus/Faust Faust (band) /Stereolab (1996)
*Null/Void – Foetus (1996)
*(not adam) – Foetus (2004)All full-length Foetus album titles are four-letter, one-syllable words, often with multiple connotations.
The artwork of Foetus releases shows a deliberate progression of colour: the earliest releases Spite Your Face/OKFM are black and white, with the addition of red on the Deaf Deaf (album) album, and further addition of yellow on Nail Nail (album) . Full-color art was introduced on Gash Gash (album) . Beginning with Flow Flow (album) , the artwork of primary albums reverted to black/white/red, though other releases continue in full colour.
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