13 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Now here is some amusing, candy-coated anarchy. For the blown-out punk-rap act’s second record and (somehow!) their major-label debut, Death Grips fuse abrasive techno with shouted and amped-up hip-hop and crazed distorted backing loops. The Sacramento, Calif.–based group brings together producer Zach Hill of the avant-metal act Hella with vocalist Stefan Burnett and coproducer Andy Morin. Lyrically, there’s a bit of the Rage Against the Machine problem at work here. Songs like “I’ve Seen Footage” and “Get Got” icily remark on the proliferation of violence and the way it desensitizes youth. It’s also easy to see how desensitized youth would just think it’s cool. Two of the least venerated forms of the '90s—electroclash and digital hardcore—are resuscitated in a way that will cause parents the world over to politely ask that that music be turned down. Yet it's undeniably good—always layered and frequently strange.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Now here is some amusing, candy-coated anarchy. For the blown-out punk-rap act’s second record and (somehow!) their major-label debut, Death Grips fuse abrasive techno with shouted and amped-up hip-hop and crazed distorted backing loops. The Sacramento, Calif.–based group brings together producer Zach Hill of the avant-metal act Hella with vocalist Stefan Burnett and coproducer Andy Morin. Lyrically, there’s a bit of the Rage Against the Machine problem at work here. Songs like “I’ve Seen Footage” and “Get Got” icily remark on the proliferation of violence and the way it desensitizes youth. It’s also easy to see how desensitized youth would just think it’s cool. Two of the least venerated forms of the '90s—electroclash and digital hardcore—are resuscitated in a way that will cause parents the world over to politely ask that that music be turned down. Yet it's undeniably good—always layered and frequently strange.

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About Death Grips

Death Grips is a difficult yet enthralling project, where the glitched-out productions of blastbeat drummer Zach Hill and keyboardist Andy Morin accent the violently yelled raps of vocalist Stefan Burnett. The experimental hip-hop project started out in Sacramento, California and put out its first mixtape, Exmilitary, in 2011. Despite the album's raging intensity, it became a favorite among critics upon its release. Following a signing to Epic, Death Grips released The Money Store in 2012. The label planned on delivering the follow-up album, No Love Deep Web, that same year, but when Death Grips released it themselves as a free download, the group was let go from Epic. An official release of No Love Deep Web appeared in 2013 on the group's own imprint, Third Worlds, just as the band released their third album, Government Plates, as a free download. In 2014, the group announced they were breaking up, with The Powers That B their final album. The double-LP was officially released in 2015, but the first half leaked in 2014 as Niggas on the Moon, an album constructed from vocal samples of singer/songwriter Björk. The second half, titled Jenny Death, was a more traditional Death Grips effort. The ensemble then embarked on a world tour in the summer of 2015, and announced their fifth LP, Bottomless Pit, later that year. The album arrived in early 2016 to widespread acclaim. ~ Jason Lymangrover

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