Thursday, July 3, 2014

Beyond B-Town: Death Grips have split

http://cargocollective.com/kylekukshtel/Death-Grips
Do you remember where you were when you first heard Kennedy was shot? or the events of 11/9/01?
I do (the second one anyway).
I also remember where I was when I first heard Death Grips. It was 2011 (I think) I was unemployed at the time and after having spent a disappointing day browsing the web for vacancies, took a look at an NME blog post and recognised the cover of Ex-military above the stream. It's one of those album covers that is destined to be iconic, a picture of the groups main MC which with it's worn out creases has a timeless look about it.
Ex-Military begins with the sound of Charles Manson ranting, and builds up the tension slowly throughout 'Guillotine'.  It's not Rap music as such, nor is it Hip-Hop or Electronica, while the music still sounds futuristic 3 years later the use of samples gives the record a timelessness. Of course what really stands out is how extreme it is, I truly believe that no one out there has ever made a record as   heavy as anything in Death Grips back catalogue. They put all those death metal bands in the shade.
 I have only seen a handful of photographs of MC Ride but in each one he looks absolutely terrifying. he exudes danger and menace. His lyrics are violent and the delivery is more ranting than rapping. Throughout the EX-Military album the range of styles and invention is truly awe-inspiring. its a record that is destined to be a classic.  Yet the problem is that the whole music of Death Grips is pretty much the same as pornography, shocking at first, but with repeated exposure it becomes little short of ridiculous.
The rather petty fall out with their label, (publicity stunt or not) has clearly contributed to the demise of the group. I've not heard much of the first record they put out while signed but No Love Deep Web was awesome, seeing the band ditch the vague hip hop style for stripped out, uncompromising electronica. the title tracks were obvious highlights of the mix, it kept me entertained for a while, but by the time 'Government plates' got it's release last year I found it hard to stay too bothered. Its a strange thing to say about such an eclectic group  but I knew what to expect. This years 'Niggas on the moon' mixtape is part one of a double album, with each track featuring Bjork's Sampled Vocals.

Overall I'm not sad that Death Grips have split up, in less than 5 years they have released 6 albums, somehow got signed to a major and fought the power by telling them to fuck off. They have made their drummers penis famous, and have now wasted the opportunity of a lifetime by pulling out of a NIN / Soundgarden tour. I'd imagine that a lack of money, from  releasing all the songs for free is partly to blame. I reckon they'll all go onto other successes. If you have not heard their music yet though, then now is the time it download some of those albums. Because there will never be a band quite like Death Grips again.

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