Death Grips – The Money Store album review
It’s rare – in an era when auto-tuned, compressed and uber-processed safety is the bland order of the day – for music to jump out of the stereo and grab you by the throat. For a band to be different and exciting enough to make you sit up and think, “what in the name of Frank Zappa’s ballbag is that?” Well, welcome to Death Grips.
The California trio’s music is angry as all hell. It is not the kind of thing you can put on in the background while you fart about on Facebook. It DEMANDS your attention. You’ll want to headbutt yourself (in a good way) as lead vocalist Stefan Burnett (aka MC Ride) roughly barks lyrics over industrial beats in a full-on aural assault. And the remarkable thing is that The Money Store actually sees Death Grips tone down their aggression from last year’s fucking mental Exmilitary mixtape.
This time round, there are occasional grooves and rhythms to counterbalance the friction. Lost Boys flanges its way through some sort of super-industrial Kraut-art, while opener Get Got sees slightly less throaty, quickfire rapping over barmy genre-mashing. Hustle-Bones has the kind of electro edge that can be found scattered across the record, whereas metal and dub-step are also dallied into as well. But let’s get something straight, while this album has a slightly less harsh sound than before, it doesn’t represent Death Grips going soft after signing to a major. Rather, the band take the aforementioned genres into the studio and beat the living shit out of them with a baseball bat, then smack you around the head with their bleeding corpses.
Where Death Grips go from here is an interesting thought. Can they continue to command our attention by bullying their way our ears and melting our brains, or will they have to further melodify their sound? Whatever comes next, there is no doubt that, currently, there are few bands around as interesting, different, visceral and really fucking thrilling as Death Grips.
Review by Bobby Townsend.