New York extreme noise terrorists Gridfailure have been my favourite purveyors of madcap dystopian soundscapes for quite some time now, ever since Sentinel Daily majordomo Scott Adams foisted their Powerdementia elpee on me, declaring it to be ‘right up my alley’… He was right, of course – he always is – and so here we are in 2022, ‘enjoying’ the nerve-shredding beats of track three on the ‘band”s new album, Ghoul Bushcraft: Henchpersons Instrumentals II, Stabbing Habit.

Track one was called He Woke Up and Chose Violence, so it’s nice to note that once again it’s business as usual for David Brenner – the principle of Gridfailure made flesh, if you like – and his legion of collaborators; Stabbing Habits – It’s pointless really labelling anything here a ‘favourite’ track but it’s definitely a standout -features the usual melange of grubby, processed rhythms and skittish percussion, overlaid by deeply unsettling carn-evil organ noises and topped off with a damned, disembodied voice crying out for succour from the depths of an irredeemable depression.

At least that’s my reading; as noted in previous attempts to describe what’s happening on a Gridfailure release, this art is one which sparks incredibly personal reactions… as there are no audible hooks for the listener to hold on to your ears are forced back onto their own wits to make sense of what’s happening if any understanding is to be gleaned at all. So, as someone who spent a lot of time around West London squats in the mid to late eighties, Homicide Meditations, terrible connotations inspired by the title aside, sparks comforting dub-fuelled memories with it’s melodica-led reverie. But others may feel differently…

I Hate Heads is magnificent; a churned up percussion track washing up against what appears to be a heavily treated recording of the engine room of a Cross-Channel Ferry, overlaid with whooshing space noises isn’t perhaps what your workaday man on the street might consider to be entertainment – I can’t imagine Simon Cowell smiling devilishly before hitting his big red button and swivelling around in his chair for this (I think you’ve got your talent shows mixed up – Ed.), but within the context of a Gridfailure album it makes perfect sense, acting as the pivot on which the whole album balances.

Elsewhere, Sociopath Don’t Quit, which with it’s grumbling bass and relatively stable percussion lines sounds like something Dan Lilker might have been involved with , is almost ‘normal’, whilst the semi title track builds a grim sense of foreboding as layer upon layer of discomfiting ideas flit in and out of the ears in rapid and disconcerting succession, clogging the listener’s audial arteries with toxic filth in an insidiously unhinged bout of binge noisemaking.

As ever this is isn’t for everyone, even within the broad church that makes up Sentinel Daily’s readership; but it is definitely worth a listen, if only to remind yourself that there is a wonderful and frightening world out there beyond your Iron Maiden albums that deserves exploration every now and then. Lovely stuff…

Ghoul Bushcraft: Henchpersons Instrumentals II is out now.