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DEATH GRIPS - The Money Store (LP) on sale

  • RRP: $21.99

    Our Price: $21.99

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  • Label: Epic

    Genre: Hip Hop

    Format: Vinyl

DEATH GRIPS - The Money Store (LP)
"Death Grips are angry. It's unclear why. But their thirst for vengeance, their monomaniacal desire to visit fiery destruction on the powers-that-be, is crystal-clear on The Money Store, even if nothing else-- where the hell this album came from; who plays which instrument; what the lead singer is yelling about; and what on earth this band of insurgents is doing signing an Epic Records contract with L.A. Reid-- makes much sense at all. When playing this album, the only thing I'm sure of is my overwhelming desire to split my forehead open on a cinder block.
The Sacramento group seems to have landed from an alternate planet, or at least an alternate decade when defiantly mutant outfits like this were occasionally given major-label backing. They've been persistently tagged as "rap rock" for context, but it's not a very useful description of their music. For starters, not much of The Money Store scans as rock: It's confrontational, abrasive, and chaotic, but only one of its 13 tracks includes a remotely guitar-like noise ("I've Seen Footage") and even that turns out to be a bent, sickly synthesizer. Most of the album is an alien swarm of buzzing and sputtering noises. Death Grips' Zach Hill, a drummer for the fiendishly technical noise-rock band Hella, has also chewed his way through numerous projects, including work with Marnie Stern and Boredoms, and bits of all this float through The Money Store's wildly unpredictable 41 minutes.
Whatever L.A. Reid was thinking when he signed these guys, he surely didn't meddle in their creative process. Sometimes this hands-off approach backfires, but Death Grips have actual designs to be left to, and The Money Store is a million-mph blur of ideas. One can only imagine how many hours it took to make Hill's drums sound like they're traveling inward from every corner of the mix toward its center, but the music seems to be constantly lunging out at you from all sides. A Bollywood vocal sample on "Punk Weight" is obliterated by a mortar-round hailstorm of viciously treated percussion. On "Hustle Bones", a tar-thick drone of indeterminate origin (guitar? computer?) pops into a glitter of synthesized voices. And "Hacker", the final track, hits a peak that the entire album seems to gather towards: With its simple chorus chant ("I'M IN YOUR AREA") and uncharacteristic amount of empty space, it's the only song Death Grips have recorded so far that tugs at your hips as much as it bludgeons your skull.
As for "rap": To call what lead vocalist Stefan Burnett (aka MC Ride) does "rapping" stretches the definition of the word beyond what even an avowed Lil B and Waka Flocka Flame fan like me can endorse. Burnett's deranged shouting brings a lot of things to mind-- Mark E. Smith with his mouth full, Jim Jones during an air raid, Sloth from The Goonies-- but rapping isn't one of them. Follow his lines closely and you'll slam up against the realization that you're largely transcribing word salad: "The fuck you staring at/ You know I'd be so quick to flash/ Terrified of the way a basilisk come out and skin so fast," Burnett barks on "The Cage". But his hoarse, panicked voice functions as primal fight-or-fight communication: Things Are Not All Right.
The clearest link through all the pop-culture static to the music Death Grips make is back to the ultra-aggressive, defiantly ignorant, and proudly dumb American hardcore punk-metal moment of the 1980s-- right along the Suicidal Tendencies/Fear/Cro-Mags axis. I don't watch a lot of skate videos these days, but I know a great highlight-reel song when I hear it, and every moment of The Money Store qualifies. Like those bands, Death Grips appeals to the knuckle-dragging troglodyte and the smirking smart kid in us: thick-headed goonery and bookish, viscera-free nerdiness, making beautifully misanthropic music together. Granted, The Money Store is about as intellectual an experience as a scraped knee. But it's just as good at reminding you that you're alive." Pitchfork 8.1

A1 Get Got
A2 The Fever (Aye Aye)
A3 Lost Boys
A4 Blackjack
A5 Hustle Bones
A6 I've Seen Footage
A7 Double Helix
B1 System Blower
B2 The Cage
B3 Punk Weight
B4 Fuck That
B5 Bitch Please
B6 Hacker