Death Grips – No Love Deep Web

Death Grips- No Love Deep WebDeath Grips
No Love Deep Web
[Self-Released, 2012]
Nick Torsell, October 10, 2012
Download: Direct
Listen: “Whammy”

Death Grips leaked their new release, No Love Deep Web, on October 1st after giving an announcement on twitter claiming their Sony owned label, Epic Records, wouldn’t give it a release date. While at first this seems logical for a band on a major as “difficult” as Death Grips; I wouldn’t be the first to say this seems convenient. Impose Magazine, in their article “#DeathGripsGate,” points to the self-manufactured hype surrounding the release to fit in with their general aesthetic as a band. It’s guerilla marketing masquerading as music Robin Hood-ism. Whether or not this thing is an authentic “label fucks over innocent creative band” scenario doesn’t change that they presented it as one, and it doesn’t change the amount of attention No Love received by music outlets last week.

Even if this album never makes its way onto shelves, in a tweet recently the band said they had no idea if No Love would get a physical release; the hype is a definitive win. With all the positive reviews The Money Store received earlier this year it doesn’t seem necessary, but it doesn’t hurt for your much-anticipated follow-up’s story be about a label fuck-up rather than something dull about overcoming stress on tour or working with a big name producer.

After all the press, we’re left with an album that sounds quite a bit like The Money Store. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, and not surprising considering how closely No Love followed it.  MC Ride still sounds like he’s trying to expel some trauma with blunt force, Zach Hill is still constricting the space the band works in with his frantic drum fills, and Andy “Flatlander” Morin is still crafting neo-apocalyptic synth skeletons for Hill and Ride to hang their oversized personalities on. Death Grips have set themselves up to be terrifying. There is no such thing as a passive listen to one of their albums, the listener becomes immediately provoked to listen to every spiked frequency, every snare and cymbal hit.

Listen to the way MC Ride loses his breath around the halfway point of “Come Up and Get Me” the first track on No Love. It’s the exasperation of someone who can’t break through with his intended audience. Whether that’s Epic or an audience who constantly paint the group as self-destructive or unhinged, it’s one of the lynch pins of No Love. After yelling about Jimmy Page’s castle and rummaging through abandoned buildings, Ride’s gasp for air is refreshing; it’s a brief break for an album and a group that can be aurally exhausting. Even songs that are more melodic, like “Black Dice,” lurch sinisterly forward with a synth line that starts bouncy but gets more terrifying with every repetition. Hell, “Whammy” has a lyric about climbing out of your stomach, a refusal to abide by any conventional rules of personal space between band and audience and a throwback to one of their first tracks, on the mixtape Ex-Military, “Taykon.” On the 2011 release MC Ride growled, “Subatomic penetration, rapid fire through your skull.” Two albums later, Death Grips still aim to be as affective as possible, to the point of parasitically feeding on your insides, and throughout No Love, they succeed. Now let’s see who releases their next album.

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