Death Grips – The Money Store

Album Review by Bram E. Gieben | 04 Apr 2012
Album title: The Money Store
Artist: Death Grips
Label: Sony
Release date: 23 Apr

The anticipation surrounding the major-label debut of Death Grips is fevered, to say the least. The Money Store does not disappoint. The significant change from last year's Exmilitary is the lack of recognisable samples. Melodically, The Money Store's sonic palette is synth-driven, much like the standout tracks from their first album (Guillotine, Culture Shock).

The band's jackhammer approach – deconstructing juke, dubstep, punk rock and ghetto techno into dystopian berserker soundsystem attacks – has grown in power and innovation. MC Ride's lyrics are more focused, more intense – his all-consuming, apocalyptic howl turned outwards against the world, and on the future. He tackles homelessness and societal decay on Lost Boys; then voyeurism and body horror on the ruthlessly infectious, booty-shaking I've Seen Footage (perhaps the best statement since Videodrome on the cultural effects of extreme pornography, uncensored YouTube footage of political violence; its desensitizing, passion-warping effects on the modern mind).

He's still capable of thrilling Satanic black metal bile, as in The Fever (Aye Aye), a song about disease vectors and cultural transmission: “Bubonic plague / Spreaded faceless / Lurking in the deadest spaces / On your knees / Black goat anus.” Throughout, Zach Hill's drums sustain the raw punk energy the band deliver so thrillingly in a live context, while Andy Morin (aka Flatlander)'s production reveals a landscape of overclocked synth stabs, weirdly-pitched, percusssive vocal samples and grinding bass noise.

More and more, this band sound like the future of music: the kind of rhythms you expect to hear blasting from broken stereos in bleak tent cities, or filling cracked, broken warehouses with legions of head-banging, black-clad rioters, charging them up with hate before they go and strip the remaining skyscrapers for parts. A blistering, feral and intense second album from a band who show no signs of selling out, even while signed to Sony. If anything, it's the corporation who have sold their souls to the devil: this is dangerous, anti-corporate, rabble-rousing music, and the best thing since... well, since their last album.