gridlink Orphan (CD, £6.95)label: hydrahead
Single-minded is a term that would aptly describe Gridlink's approach to creating music. Velocity, precision, purity - these are the tenets of their persona, combined and compacted into parcels of explosive sound-violence. In conjunction with eloquently confrontational lyrics, Gridlink's musical missives manage to utterly dominate the airspace they occupy while elevating the consciousness of the listener to supreme levels of ecstatic anxiety and heightened sensory awareness. This is the music of the apocalyptic-computer-future-world as delivered by first-hand witnesses to the horde of humanity as it draws ever closer to the edge of oblivion - a cautionary battering to capture the attention of those who might wish to move in the opposite direction. While made up of musical luminaries who have proved their mettle in other much lauded musical outfits (Discordance Axis, Mortalized), this is hardly a necessary qualifier in the face of a ferocious musical accomplishment such as Orphan. While possessing the energy, aggression and overall focus of its predecessor (2008's Amber Grey), the songs contained herein provide an ever denser and more nuanced musical assault combining short bursts of accelerated thrash, blinding passages of helicopter blasting, monochromatic smears of near-noise, and the alien howls of singer Jon Chang. In a realm of perpetrators veiled by smokescreen tactics of studio trickery and trapped in herd-minded musical and socio-political manoeuvring, Gridlink provide a much needed counterpoint in which sincerity, determination and artful execution triumph finally and fully. "These are basically death-metal songs sped way-the-fuck-up to the point that they sound like how a hummingbird looks" – Absolute Punk.
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