"What does it demand from her to become a star? Not that much but even less when offered stardom equals for submission to humilation and is mere process instead of glamorous result." - Grunt, Midnight Inspiration LP

This is the second Grunt LP I received (the other is Last Grip To Sanity) when I was on a sort-of 'Grunt vinyl shopping spree'. I am quite a Grunt fanboy and find most of his releases be above the average Power Electronics and Noise. As such I had quite high hopes for this release.

First thing that stroke me about this album was the covers. As with 'Last Grip To Sanity' they aren't simple covers with pictures. They are elaborate multi-part covers. The package is layered with the outermost layer being the 'proper cover' made out of white paper. It eschews the normal style of covering both sides of the lp, having instead only two thin flaps on the front. On the back is full sized cover with track titles, pictures and other information. Beneath the top layer is a normal, black vinyl cover with center hole cut in and beneath it is a normal sleeve. The outermost cover is designed with care and is really visually pleasing to look at, as is the whole package.

While the quality of covers is great, the same cannot be said about the music. The biggest problem on the release is the production. It simply lacks any semblance of power or punch. Recorded live with no mixing or mastering afterwards has left it with really sterile and cold sound. It sounds like it was recorded with bad digital recorder that has sucked all the dynamics out of the performance. This causes the choice of synths sound really annoying. The synths itself are mostly single lines, topped with vocals. The synths, which aren't usual pads or constant streams of sound but sounding a bit like an chainsaw which is not used (meaning that they manage to be almost impossible to describe), don't manage to create any sort of atmosphere. The tracks itself feel like they don't go anywhere. These synths don't stay on the forefront forever though and somewhere in the second half of the side A they disappear completely, leaving more familiar and darker sounds on to the forefront. Even when this is a welcomed development the track is still hindered by its production.

The B-side begins with a lenghty sample of men discussing with a woman the time when the woman was mounted by a dog. While humorous, the sample is a bit too long and I do not really see the point of it. Maybe it somehow relates to the text on the cover? After that it goes into the music which is a little bit better on side B, lacking the 'engine-like' synths and having more stream-like synths instead. The tracks seem more refined, more focused. Even though the tracks itself are stronger the problem with production persists and pulls the quality of the tracks down. There is little to distinguish the tracks from each other and as such they blend together.

This vinyl was certainly a surprise but not in a good way. Grunt is an artist whose releases have usually been above average on normal p.e. standards and from whom I expect certain quality. As such, this was quite a letdown to me. This is the worst Grunt I have heard and wouldn't really recommend it to anyone. It is not really represantive of the quality of Grunt and it is not a good power electronics vinyl. If you are looking to get into Grunt, get something else (Terror & Degeneration and Welfare would be my recommendations) and if you are looking for more Grunt releases to your collection, leave this for last.

5 / 10