I'm not even going to try and spend too much time talking about how prolific Dave Brenner's Gridfailure project is quickly becoming, as we are not even done with 2017 yet and here's another new release, and I don't doubt that this 'mastermind of menace' probably has more new material cooking in his cauldron as we speak. I Shall Not Survive Another Winter once again sees Brenner creating a selection of disturbing and ominous recordings (frightening comes to mind at times as well) utilizing a plethora of instruments, sound effects, and natural sounds. Though he has brought on a few guests here to help interject some additional lunacy (drums, guitar, accordion, synth, piano), this is mostly the man himself conjuring up one nightmarish journey after another throughout the albums eight tracks. "It's Too Late for Me, It's Too Late for You" brings the listener to a lonely, empty field, the overcast skies slowly seeing the dark storm clouds taking over, with not enough time to run for cover before the impending doom hits. "Cabal" and "Pact Rejection" both hint on that feeling of claustrophobia that Brenner is so perfectly able to create within these confines, as tense, nervous sounds bubble under the surface of your skin and no possible way to scratch the itch and get any relief. The stuff that nightmares are made of? You betcha. "Hara-Kiri Superstars" takes a similar approach but in a different way- ever have a nightmare where you are walking down a long, never ending corridor that seems to shrink as you go along, caustic noise blowing out your eardrums but no one can hear your screams? Here you have the soundtrack to that trip of terror. Monstrous vocal static battles gorgeous, jazzy electric piano on the fascinating "Never Was", while the two epic pieces, "I Shall Not Survive Another Winter" and "No Longer Communicable" round out the album in equally unsettling fashion. The title cut, featuring what could be interpreted as either menacing footsteps or some dark, shadowy figure knocking at your door in the middle of a bleak snow storm, is as creepy as it gets, Brenner's far away vocal cries only adding to the terror and impending doom, while the finale takes the listener to a desolate camp out in the woods, miles away from civilization, as you sit in front of the fire and feel the hairs on your neck slowly rise with the sounds of creeping menace from the dark surrounding forest. Terrifying stuff.
I've said this many times before when reviewing past Gridfailure releases, but why someone hasn't commissioned Dave Brenner to create soundtracks to horror movies is beyond me. Another amazing thing worth mentioning is Dave's ability to come up with this stuff, as each album sounds totally different than the last, but the chill inducing nature of the material never fails to hit home in a big way. As always, I can't wait to hear what he comes up with next.
1. Cabal 02:55
2. Sew Nothing, Reap Nothingness 03:29
3. Pact Rejection 03:47
4. It's Too Late For Me, It's Too Late For You 04:32
5. Hara-Kiri Superstars 05:19
6. Never Was 06:01
7. I Shall Not Survive Another Winter 09:17
8. No Longer Communicable 10:13