Death Grips – The Money Store
The thrash rap/experimental/awesome collective from Sacramento, Death Grips, is back with their first of two releases of the year for Epic Records and this one is going to be tough to beat. The previous outing that we heard from Death Grips was last year’s polarizing “Exmilitary” which I found a bit palatable, but it was a bit too jagged for me to dive right in. Some of the songs, though, were instant favorites like “Guillotine” (IT GOES IT GOES IT GOES IT GOES IT GOES YAH) and “Takyon (Death Yon).”
In this outing, however, the songs are more accessible but the original raw energy that drove the past album is still there. In fact, the energy is even more prevalent in this album, I think. In the past effort, it seemed splayed out and generally unorganized; but here the hatred and bloodlust is refined into a diamond-tipped point to stab right into the hearts of the listeners. The song “The Cage” has a speaker blasting beat that is purely infectious, but the beat is added in and dropped at the perfect times such that the listener is pushed along for the ride in a way that they aren’t totally offended by the song.
Death Grips is comprised of frontman Stefan Burnett aka “MC Ride,” drummer Zach Hill (of Hella) and synth/beat maker Andy Morin. Burnett brings fiery, unabashed confidence and anger to the game, which gives the verses a quality of toxicity, like he’s spitting them out on one of his many enemies.
He isn’t the only one that’s creating this realm of hatred and raw energy, though. Hill’s drumming is manic and hard hitting and seeing them live will really show that the recordings don’t do justice for his drumming skill. He beats those drums like they owe him money. Then Morin’s synth textures that he lays down are those you could find in any doomsday setting, usually extremely bloated with digital stretch marks and decaying pieces of techno-waste that sound like they were found in an old abandoned house in the desert. This stuff, musically, is like an adrenaline-pumping cyborg of death. Awesome.
Not all of the songs are doom-glazed pieces of filth, though, the song “I’ve Seen Footage” is a fantastic song to do things to because of it’s extremely physical beat and an overall exciting and danceable atmosphere. It might just make me get up and do things instead of sit around all day listening to music and writing album reviews! Another song that doesn’t completely drench itself in techno-melt is the great song “Hacker” which features a sweet drum line, blasting synth hits and has strains of “Losing My Edge” by LCD Soundsystem in it, surprisingly, as he’s listing off things he’s doing and name dropping about Gaga, Apple Stores and Linens n’ Things. Fantastic song.
This album really exceeded my expectations in a lot of ways. I didn’t think I would like this album as much as I do right now. The whole thing has this unbeatable confidence that no other group has brought to the game this year, when it comes to hip-hop anyways. Most of the other stuff deals with laying back and smoking weed, having women and reppin’ the location of residence. This, on the other hand, just brings an air of destruction and pure, molten energy and doesn’t quit that throughout the entire thing. I’m definitely going to recommend this to anyone who loves speaker-blasting thrash-fests and those who can handle a heaping full of spiciness sprayed into their ears. Pain is pleasure.
Get Got, The Fever (Aye Aye), Blackjack, I’ve Seen Footage, System Blower, The Cage, Punk Weight, Hacker.
Have a great day!