GIGANTIC BRAIN — The Invasion Discography (review)

GIGANTIC BRAIN — The Invasion Discography album cover Boxset / Compilation · 2004 · Grindcore Buy this album from MMA partners
1/5 ·
Conor Fynes
'The Invasion Discography' - Gigantic Brain (2/10)

The underground is filled with different abrasive styles of music, but grindcore is one such style that may be quickest to turn off prospective listeners. Essentially taking the most jarring elements of a few genres and melding them into one, grindcore is a noisy, messy sort of music, although there have been some artists which have taken the sound and done some pretty interesting things with it. Gigantic Brain is one such artist that opted to take the sound of grind outside of the screams and sour guitar feedback and take it somewhere more credible. Gigantic Brain is a one man project that helped develop cybergrind- being the fusion of grindcore and electronic music. 'The Invasiion Discography' is the first album by this man, and although it is undeniable that there is musical vision and potential that would later be realized with later works, this debut is a convoluted mess of an album.

The album essentially flows as one hour long track, despite being cut up into sixty three pint-sized pieces. The album structure reminds me somewhat of Thordendal's Special Defects' debut 'Sol Niger Within' in the sense that there is this sense that the whole album is one long track, but the thing has been cut into incomprehensibly small chunks. On that note alone, navigating 'The Invasion Discography' becomes a pretty annoying experience unless you have the full hour to invest in listening to it. Musically, the sense of messiness translates into just about everything that Gigantic Brain has to offer here. Much of the music is composed of dissonant chugging of guitars, electronically produced drum sounds that are made impossibly fast (and are often annoying as hell as a result), and some varied harsh vocals that are fairly abysmal in the way they are executed. The vocals switch from a high pitched shriek that could have found its way on an adolescent black metal demo, to some low gutturals that are nearly laughable in the way they lambast harsh vocals; suffice to say, the pig squeal thing is not working for Gigantic Brain.

What makes 'The Invasion Discography' all the more irritating is that there is actually plenty of promise and even some interesting things going on in tandem with the fairly gross grind elements. Quite often (but not nearly often enough), Gigantic Brain will pair the downtuned chugging with strange dissonant electronic sounds that make things sound even more unbearable at first, but it becomes really intriguing in an avant-garde sort of way after I got used to the sound. Sadly, Gigantic Brain's greatest flaw is that the music only ever hints at interesting ideas, giving the listener a sample or tease before taking it away and making room for some more ear-cringing pig squeals, or something else I would rather not hear. There is even a nice variety of dark ambient sounds here in between, but like anything even close to enjoyable in 'The Invasion Discography', it gets snatched away within seconds.

After listening to this debut, I am left both wanting to listen to more of what Gigantic Brain has to offer, while simultaneously reeling back in disgust from some of the less palatable aspects of the music that Gigantic Brain makes here. A fairly gross album in any case, with a few glimmers of hope here and there to make this all the more infuriating.
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