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Foetal Juice - Grotesque review

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Band: Foetal Juice
Album: Grotesque
Release date: November 2023

01. Human Beach Master
02. Mountain Of Gore
03. Legion If The Grotesque
04. Ghoul Amongst The Mouldering Dead
05. Two Bongs Don’t Make A Right
06. Cunt Of The Litter
07. Cemetery Leachate
08. The Walking Groin
09. Torn Apart
10. F. K. E. O.
11. Gruesome

Freshly squeezed and ready to please.

Wait for it... just a bit longer... the good bit's coming, I swear. Ever had one of those experiences when showing new music to friends? Well, Foetal Juice you may play for laughs and the bonkers appeal, but the band ensure that you have plenty of high-octane headbangs while you wait to point out that moment.

There's something about deathgrind that makes it fertile ground for the macabre and comedy to shake hands and put pen to paper to write odes to self-love in motorway service stations... ah, modern Shakespeare. What separates Foetal Juice from their brethren in the bonkers is that even after you strip away the comedy, the music is pretty decent to boot. Grotesque is... well, the most refined effort that the self-depreciative lads have put out to date: something you should take for a spin and promptly question what on Earth you are listening to.

Kicking off with "Human Beach Master", Grotesque will have you hooked, if not by the enjoyable tunes, but for the surprise that a comedy band aren't putting all their eggs in that one basket. While the band's dark humour has its blackened fingerprints all over the songs, they aren't relying on the jokes to be the sole selling point on tracks like "Two Bongs Don't Make A Right" and "Cunt Of The Litter" (though, they do add a lot of flavour to them). Whittaker may not be writing the most memorable riffs on "The Walking Groin", but the energy and little flourishes here and there make for an enjoyable, high-energy romp.

What holds Grotesque back is that this one-trick pony is ridden at full speed to the point it just collapses in a heap. There is a lack of variety that will become unavoidably self-evident, leading to songs sounding too similar for their own good. Picking "Legion Of The Grotesque" and "Ghoul Amongst The Mouldering Dead" to follow one another just compounds the pair feeling like two sides of the same coin. Carley's vocals are monotonous to the point that you find yourself tuning out, which is worrying for an album that sells you on the silly, leading you to miss the wackiness.

However, though it does blend into one, it's a nice sounding blur at least... which is my way of segueing into the good production found on the album. The tight and well-balanced mix is perhaps what separates Grotesque from other run-of-the-mill albums of a similar nature, with each element well-balanced, audible and with excellent tone. As if to highlight this fact, "Gruesome" feels like a purpose built showcase to push this fact home.

Grotesque may not win any awards anytime soon, but it makes the case that if you get the chance to see the Juice live, you'll have a great time if you're willing to enjoy yourself. As for the album? Enjoyable, if not memorable.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 7
Songwriting: 5
Originality: 5
Production: 8

Written on 25.11.2023 by Just because I don't care doesn't mean I'm not listening.

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