NO LOVE DEEP WEB
A band that is quickly becoming “King size” in the internet community, Death Grips decided to push the envelope even further. That envelope extended from being aggressive, uncompromising and downright brutal musically to being aggressive, uncompromising and downright brutal in the “real world”.
For starters, after everyone got over their The Money Store-fuelled comedown, after they dared to crawl out of bed, have a Cup-a-Soup and face real sunlight, the marketing campaign for 'NO LOVE DEEP WEB' began. It sent /mu/ (4chan’s music forum) computer nerds into the murky world of the deep web, trawling through links, encrypted files and anonymous message boards to find something, anything about the new album. In the end, they got instrumentals. Like hacking into the Ministry of Defence mainframe only to find the lunch menu.
But such is the nature of the beast. After Epic’s insistence that the album would not be released “until 2013 sometime”, Death Grips were seemingly less than happy to renege on a promise made as far back as the signing of the contract in January. So they did what they do best. The leaked it themselves, stating the label would be “hearing the album for the first time with you” and having an erect penis with the album title written on the side (most painfully for all male onlookers, one letter even makes it onto the bell) in Sharpie permanent marker.
Now with that back story cleared up, we can get onto the album as if NONE OF THIS EVER HAPPENED.
'Come Up and Get Me' starts us off with a wall of clipped synthesiser, Shabazz Palaces styled drum loops and a hoarse MC Ride rapping about paranoia, suicide, and an order to “fuck a Nazi”. It’s more claustrophobic and acerbic than anything they’ve done so far. 'World of Dogs' introduces breakbeat for the first time in the DG catalogue. MC Ride drops an octave and a couple hundred decibels (reminiscent of 'Culture Shock' from Exmilitary). “It’s all suicide”, as resigned as it’s spoken, sits on a bed of Zach Hill’s drum fury, presenting a man with no options, no motivation, driven mad by a twisted, Warp-speed mind.
There are fewer hooks this time round, but they are still there to be had. “You’re fit to learn the proper meaning of the beatdown” in 'No Love', “wh-wh-wh-wh-wh-wh-whammy!” It’s not fair to criticise on these grounds. This is just not the album you’d use to introduce someone to DG. 'Lil Boy' still doesn’t really grab me yet either. It’s testament to their meteoric rise that I’m willing to pull it up on one weaker track.
So are Death Grips just dicking about (pun fully intended) or are they genuinely frustrated? All a marketing exercise? Who knows. The mystery will ensure that this album gets plenty of press for a long time. Not that it needs it; the music sustains the image well enough.
I do wonder where it can go from here though. Exmilitary had innovative sample usage and impact. The Money Store upped the aggression, upped the danceability and, for me, made one of the best albums in recent memory. 'NO LOVE DEEP WEB' ups the aggression even further and strips away the flourishes of the previous release. It’s a very cold world they live in and I worry that world can’t get much colder. For now, I’m content to put this on and wash myself off in a bath of knives.
Posted: Tue 16 October 2012