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Veritable one-man-band J.G. Thirlwell returns with his first fulllength as Foetus proper since 1995's somewhat misguided major labeleffort "Gash". Holed up in his well-stocked NYC-based studio, theself-proclaimed 'Master of Disaster' learns and uses whatever he needsto forge his unique brand of industrial-jazz-swing-big-band-rock. With"Flow" he hasn't reinvented the wheel but he has built a better mousetrap. The over-saturation of heavy guitar that plagued "Gash" has beentastefully restricted to let the underbelly of sound flourish. Poundingrhythms — often constructed of jackhammers, shattered glass and metalon metal — lay a solid foundation for dense arrangements of horns,strings, bass, guitars, synths, samples and the one and only caterwaul.It could very easily be a giant mess, and in a way it is, butgloriously so as Thirlwell's composition skills are the glue that holdsit all together. And lyrically he's as clever as ever with numerous andhumorous insights, clich³s, puns, and pop culture references. "QuickFix" and "The Need Machine" are fun to sing along with as they knockyou down. "Cirrhosis of the Heart" draws a parallel between love andalcoholism over a lighthearted cocktail jazz jaunt. "Mandelay" and theepic, near 13 minute "Kreibabe" juxtapose quiet and simply brutalpassages. One of my favorite lines from the latter - "I wanna whisk youaway with me / I'll be the whisker / you be the whiskey". "Suspect" isa film noir joyride while "Heuldoch 7B" is pure big band bombast."Someone Who Cares" is foetal pop, featuring lovely horn and guitarsolos and female backing vocals. Yep, "Flow" is quintessential, classicFoetus. Other projects in the can: Manorexia "Volvox Turbo" (availablenow at the shows or and the companion album "Blow"(September 16) with remixes by Panacea, Amon Tobin, DJ Food, FranzTreichler of The Young Gods, Kid 606, Jay Wasco, PanSonic, CharlieClouser, Phylr, Ursula 1000, Kidney Thieves/Sean Beavan and Thirlwellhimself. Foetus are currently on tour in the U.S. through July.