“Sixth Mass Extinction-Skulduggery II”

By Dr. Abner Mality

Mass extinction, dystopian government and the downfall of humanity are no longer abstract ideas of a distant future...they are staring us right in the face like hungry wolves. They are as real as the air we breathe. Right now there’s no better time for a project like GRIDFAILURE, the one man industrial noise/drone machine headed up by PR whiz Dave Brenner. GRIDFAILURE has had an unbelievably prolific career, participating in more splits and Eps than you can shake a human femur bone at. But with “Sixth Mass Extinction-Skulduggery II”, Brenner has pulled out all the stops and created the most massive ode to miserable, end-times sound yet.

This is a REALLY hard slog, even for devoted fans of depressing soundscapes and abrasive noise. Here we have 15 tracks, all of good length, that are dedicated to horrific and downbeat noise collages. Brenner has too many collaborators here for me to name...being a top PR guy provides a ton of connections...and he uses every method available for his vision. Although loops, synth, industrial clatter and field recordings are the backbone of the “music” here, he adds in just about every instrument you can think of, including the likes of ukelele, banjo and didgeridoo. So there’s a certain amount of variety here. And yet there isn’t. It’s all bleak, oppressive and devoid of hope, with songtitles like “Farmer Suicide”, “Sabotaging Panacea” and “Red Tide Baptism”.

A guy has got to have nerves of steel to listen to this in one sitting, so I can’t fathom the will required to actually put this together. Although I find it impossible to listen to straight through in its entirety, I can’t help but admire the tremendous determination needed to create this. Even if it does celebrate the imminent breakdown of the human race into an endless horror show…