At last, a new Foetus album that sounds fresh. Unsuprisingly, this one is only available from the band's shoppe and I suspect it is designed to sate the fans who have become disillusioned due to Foetus' rather lacklustre last two albums. Consider me one of those fans who've become more enamored by his more experimental projects Manorexia and Baby Zizanie. The last Steroid Maximus was nothing to complain about either.

It’s these sort of preferences which have made JG's output since 1995's glorious "Gash" album so hard to take. Some enjoy a rockier approach by this NYC legend, but to me, they seemed to be more and more diluted, lacking the incisive bite his earlier works enthralled me with. But Foetus have returned with "Damp".

There is the classic big-band Tom Waits inspired "I Hate You All", the menacing "Anabuse"; on "Into the Light" his voice almost sounds like Roger Waters', circa Pink Floyd's "The Final Cut". It's quite a rending track with building film noir-ish orchestration and percussion which can be summed up in one word: punctual. Tension-laden work such as this confirms for me once again that Thirlwell has plenty of tricks still up his devilish sleeve. "Shrunken Man" is brutishly efficient with its pacing and, being as it's one of my favourite The The tracks, this interpretation more than does the original justice.

Also of note, is his decidedly lo-fi track with The Melvins "Mine Is no Disgrace", a down in the gutter dirge that contains a lot of detail and hits harder than almost anything on "Damp", but is utterly out-shone by the closer, the 16-minute odyssey "Cold Shoulder". An instrumental for the ages, this one was recently completed by our hero and if the new Manorexia work exhibits any of the tendencies found within this excursion, I'm going to be mighty pleased.

This Foetus album is not for those who have loved "Flow" or "Love". It's for those of us who still play "Bedrock", "Anything (Viva!)" and "I'll Meet You in Poland, Baby"; the more complexity Foetus has, the better it works and "Damp" is indeed one complicated fiend to have in your collection. Think I'll go play it again.