Monday, 30 March 2015

Death Grips "Jenny Death" (2015)

"Jenny Death" is the second half of double album "The Powers That B" and may just be the last thing Death Grips ever release, but maybe not if you have followed the bands unpredictable behavior over the years. From no-shows to break up announcements via a note scribbled on a napkin, they have made a reputation for themselves, one that will never overshadow the music which speaks in deafening volumes, given the hard hitting and abrasive sound the trio create. Death Grips hail from Sacramento, California. Consisting of MC Ride on vocals, Zach Hill frenetically pounding his drum kit and Andy Morin handling the electronics and production. Their 2012 release "The Money Store" is one I have been meaning to write up on for some time, its served as one of the most impacting and ear opening records I'd ever heard. It deserves its own article but ill be blunt, Death Grips are the most exciting band I can think of these days.

My excitement for Jenny Death was somewhat muted, I found myself disappointed with the first half "Niggas On The Moon" which was a bare and stripped down record I had little connection with. Jenny is quite the opposite, a dense cluster of thick tracks rich with textural noise, felt through additional guest musicians performing guitars and synthesizers and typically unusual approaches to delivering melodies and grooves as Death Grips so often do. For the most part Jenny is reminiscent of the debut "Ex-Military" sound, with Ride's performances having a similar intensity and merciless frenetic quality as his shouts are interwoven with glitched out vocal samples, cuts and effects. The return of featured guitars also strengthens this similar feeling. "Pss Pss" and "The Powers That B" have a "No Love Deep Web" vibe with more electronic eccentrics oriented sound and deep bass. Beside the familiarities, some new and expansive ideas emerge with "Inanimate Sensation" build a song out of an ugly accelerating automobile impersonation, finding a hook in the most un-melodic of pitch shifts. "Why A Bitch Gotta Lie" delivers a massive party riff wrapped in growing layers of distortion and jittery paranoid electronics and Ride's howling screams phasing in and out of the background before busting in with ridiculous robotized effects that amount to an assault of wild exciting noise with Zach smashing on his symbols with unrestrained force.

These songs have textural sounds, dizzying noise abuse, dense electronics and sampling that arrive in a twisted package as track after track questions your rhythmic and melodic sensibilities, creating hooks from off kilt timings and smothering the songs with compressed layers of sound that aren't afraid of colliding and peaking, using distortion to effect, alongside Zachs monstrous drumming that often amplifies the intensity in many of these songs. In front of the instrumentation Ride's performances and lyrics tie in concepts and attitude that without would leave a gaping hole. The track "On Gp" bringing one of his best, and darkest moments. Individually, each song brings forth a lot of character and identity, a concept of its own, something I would identify with almost everything on their first three records. Its a refreshing return to form that sounds lively and exciting, showing the group still have relevant musical ideas and an energy to deliver them authentically.

Favorite Tracks: Inanimate Sensation, Why A Bitch Gotta Lie, Centuries Of Damn, On Gp
Rating: 5/10