Death Grips @ Captain's Rest, 29 September

Live Review by Ross Watson | 10 Oct 2011
  • Death Grips

Californian heavy-hop trio Death Grips are a group certain to have polarized listener opinion with their free Ex Military mixtape released earlier this year. But it's immediately apparent that the crowd here tonight are on the worship end of the spectrum – as soon as prolific drummer Zach Hill (Hella, Team Sleep, Wavves) sets up his kit, anticipation is high for this exciting new band. As MC Ride emerges, he stands at the side of the stage intently, waiting for his moment to strike – and when he does, everyone goes nuts, relentlessly moshing their way through a set which can only really loosely be described as hip-hop in nature.

Beware opens with a sampled rant from iconic madman Charles Manson, matching the group's aggressive confidence – MC Ride doesn't so much rap as he bawls hyper-masculine gospel (see I am the beast I worship!), and Hill's frenzied drumming replaces the minimalist beats of the recordings, creating a primal energy in the room during songs like Guillotine and Known For It. This kind of collective unity isn't always this potent; even as the set ends abruptly, everyone knows they've just witnessed something special from one of the year's most distinguished outfits.