1. Prime Gonzola
2. 0-0 (Where Evil Dwells)
4. Someone Drowned In My Pool
6. The Fudge Punch
8. Stumbo (12" Version)
9. Death Rape 2000
10. Someone Drowned In My Pool - Extended Version
On paper, a collaboration between Jim Thirlwell (appearing as "Clint Ruin", his finest stage name) and Roli Mosimann should have been a slamdunk for an utterly devastating industrial barrage. After all, Thirlwell's groundbreaking Foetus and Mosimann's work in early Swans helped define the industrial and noise rock genres. One would think that their resulting album, Dirtdish, would be the kind of thing that could level a five story apartment complex from a distance of three kilometers by sheer force of thundering percussion and Clint Ruin's lecherous sneer. However, as it turns out, Wiseblood turned out to be average, but defintely underwhelming.
Since Mosimann was in charge of writing the music for Thirlwell's lyrics and vocals, it could be theorized that Mosimann simply lacked the songwriting strengths of his partner. Lyrically, Wiseblood was designed to be "violent macho American music" as envisioned by non-Americans. One wonders if the pair had traveled through rural Texas for inspiration. The lyrics are often disturbing, particularly "The Fudge Punch" (and no, it's not about a party drink and certainly not a topic for polite company). In some cases, the songs are fairly memorable, but "Godbrain" and "Prime Gonzola" are rather bland. "Stumbo", "Motorslug" and "Someone Drowned In My Pool" are rather good. Of course, it should be noted that Thirlwell performed "Stumbo" and "Someone Drowned In My Pool" on the 1992 live Foetus album Male and gave them a smoking good performance. For whatever reason, Wiseblood in the studio lacked some compelling element that would have made this album much better.
Though flawed, Wiseblood is still a nice side entry into the whole of Thirlwell's long career. Though occasionally overly long with the songs, Dirtdish contains just enough of the disturbing sleaze and inventive approach to industrial music to still be worth tracking down for a listen. Afterwards, you should check out the live inclusions on Male to hear these songs given a little spark.
Review by John Chedsey
Review date: 01/2011