Death Grips, No Love Deep Web (um, independent? Epic?)
Why just make albums when you can make statements? And while you’re at it, why not make a few enemies, too? One thing Sacramento’s Death Grips seem legitimately disinterested in, if we needed further proof, is making money, or at least worrying much about it.
They unleashed their debut “mixtape” for free less than two years ago, an aggressive, chaotic outing that would purely beat the shit out of all the other albums on your playlist for fun, given the chance.
A band reticent to even show their faces doesn’t usually end up signed to a major, but then, somehow, that happened and Epic picked them up. DG promised fans not just one but two full-lengths before the end of ’12.
The first part of the bargain was honoured in April with the release of The Money Store and its hyperactive, headless hip hop, complete with black-and-white S&M-themed cover art as iconically cool-looking as The Wall or IV.
I’m not sure it moved quite as many units as those albums, however. The band keep their affairs quite confidential, so I don’t know that there were evident signs of trouble from the label until, on Sept. 30, the DG Twitter and Facebook feeds began promising some kind of midnight miracle.
It turned out to be a coup against Epic — the release of their entire new record, for free, as apparent blowback for refusing to issue a second LP before the end of this year.
Death Grips obviously care more about their fans and their music than industry bullshit, the type that manifested itself further today with the news that Epic shut down the official band site, thirdworlds.net, which existed prior to their deal. The band claim the album was being pushed back to sometime next year.
I wonder if the highbrow artwork maybe had something to do with the delay.
NLDW finds the Grips taking a slightly less frenetic pace. The synth/drum underbelly that has made them the most punk-rock thing in hip hop is far from toned down, but rather drawn out.
Zach Hill’s stick work resonates with a more “live” sound than ever, despite the fact that there has always been an honest-to-goodness kit in the studio. Meanwhile, synth dude Andy Morin stretches his limbs further, his melodies (yeah, I said melodies in a DG review) taking the lead more significantly this time out. And MC Ride is still a crazy motherfucker.
Will this be the end of Death Grips? Will Epic sue, or release a double-digipak-deluxe package and let the joke be on us? Will an obscenity trial drag on and on until there is no choice but to jail DG for life in lieu of legal fees owing?
Nah, we’ll probably all just stay ’noid happily ever after.
Crystal Castles, “Wrath of God”
That’s right, it’s the new single from the Toronto duo, whose third album, III, is out Nov. 6 on Last Gang Records. They play Metropolis with Health and Kontravoid on Saturday, Oct. 7, 8 p.m., $35.50/$42.20
Solange Knowles, “Losing You”
This is the new single by Beyoncé’s scrappy sister, directed by Alan Del Rio Ortiz.