They Did This to Me
Gigantic Brain is dead
Long live Gigantic Brain.
The evolution of one man Virginia band Gigantic Brain from Nintendo-core blip-grind origins through its cosmically-tinged grind opera denouement has been nothing but staggering and a career trajectory plenty of bands would seize with envy. Very quickly after the Invasion Discography’s battery to the ’nads assault, it became quickly apparent that mere grindcore was not going to be enough to constrain Gigantic Brain’s increasingly cosmic vistas. The grindcore increasingly became the icing on a dense cake of ambient electronics and expansive emotional catharsis, culminating in They Did This to Me, easily the Brain’s high point and sadly also its epitaph.
They Did This to Me barely qualifies as grindcore anymore, given more toward ambient passages than raging beaters that is just as often instrumental than not. Gigantic Brain gives pride of place to carefully sculptured electronic passages that have been hewn to a single emotional core, often fear, paranoia and even fleeting moments of rapture. The album is graced by surprisingly delicate moments that sparkle like diamonds among Gigantic Brain’s typical electronic wasteland. “Crop Circles” is a scintillating soundscape that likely would pass unnoticed on a broad minded pop album. They Did This to Me’s emotional center, however, is the stunning emotional ambience of “Abandoned,” which could grace a Jesu album – one of the better ones – with its keyboard crescendos and plaintive Broadrick-style wails of abject despair.
This is stunning in its ambition and flawless in its execution, guiding listeners through an electro-grind equivalent of the stations of the cross. This has to be heard. It’s easily one of the finest releases of the year, and you have no excuses since it’s free. As a farewell gesture, GB is giving away damn near every moment its ever recorded at its MySpace page (linked above). I’d highly suggest getting while the getting is good because this is music good enough to pay for.