Death Grips
No Love Deep Web


4.0
excellent

Review

by James A. Charles USER (1 Reviews)
October 4th, 2012 | 44 replies | 3,043 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Death Grips firmly display their staying power.

7 of 7 thought this review was well written

This Sacramento hip-hop outfit has never been one for understatement. The relentless charisma of frontman MC Ride (Stefan Burnett), coupled with his like-minded flow and sheer ferocity of delivery, could adequately carry any musical project on its sole merit. What separates Death Grips, at least in my judgment, from other hip-hop acts featuring remarkable MC's, however, is the foundation upon which MC Ride is able to stand and detonate his ultra-violent, unnerving, and attention-commanding lyrics. Drummer (yes, the drum beats are all organic) Zach Hill, previously known for his commanding work in math rock band Hella, is no slouch, to say the least. Hill's laser-precise syncopation adds a great deal to MC Ride's uncontrollable aura and the unmistakable aural identity of Death Grips. The third vital piece of the trio, producer Andy Morin (also known as 'Flatlander') is one that is all too oft forgotten, if even known. The refreshing samples found on Death Grip's eponymous EP and Exmilitary boasted a library that includes Nancy Sinatra, Pet Shop Boys, Pink Floyd, Black Flag, Link Wray, Bad Brains, and David Bowie, all of which are Flatlander's doing (it was hearing "Rumble" sampled in "Spread Eagle Cross the Block" that turned me on to this group in the first place). And it was this utterly unique synthesis of raw energy, virtuosity, and musical cosmopolitanism that spawned Death Grips and all of the hype following their 2011 releases.

But, one year (and one masturbatory introductory paragraph) later, do Death Grips still matter?

[For the sake of length, I have included The Money Store in my response to this question only by way of allusions.]

Like the group to which it is attributed, No Love Deep Web has not come quietly by any means. The ominously sparse squares of paper included with vinyl copies of The Money Store gave the first intimations of an upcoming Death Grips release. The alternate reality game revealed a (now defunct) release date, drumming up more suspense and intrigue at the close of the summer. And then, in a deafening crescendo of incredulity and excitement, No Love Deep Web was voluntarily leaked to the public (Epic Records, the band's alleged label, being included in that group). Before even considering the music within, No Love Deep Web feels like a Death Grips album. Its release had much of the punk rawk "*** buyin' it; I'm takin' it" bravado, a constant in their body of work and a recurring theme in underground hip-hop in the age of the internet, in their outright defiance of their label and reaching directly to the listener. There is no feeling that Death Grips have been consumed by a major label. No Love Deep Web feels just as authentic and honest as any Death Grips release before it.

This maintenance of character is immediately apparent at the album's open with "Come up and get me." Fat synths pulse and throb without mercy, MC Ride's delivery reaches terrifying pitches, all very much reminiscent of The Money Store's more digital methods of achieving that signature Death Grips brand of aggression. Death Grips are here, there is no doubting that. The towering, swirling synths on "No Love," coupled with Hill's airtight drum beats, contribute to the undeniable Money Store feel on No Love Deep Web. The dry, icy synths (not to mention those same electronic tom-toms previously found on "Get Got") on "Black Dice" add yet another layer to sonic similarities between No Love Deep Web and The Money Store. Most, if not all, of the tracks, in fact, bear at least a few aural similarities to those found on The Money Store, with special respect to synths and drums. Money Store, Money Store, Money Store.

That being said, however, No Love Deep Web is not a rehashing of The Money Store by any means. Where this is most immediately apparent is in Flatlander's assumed production style. The vocal production on tracks like "World of Dogs," "Lock your doors," "Bass rattle stars out the sky," and "Artificial death in the west" and synth production on "Lil Boy," "Whammy," and "Pop" is (dare I say it?) ethereal, sounding more like the disturbingly ambient aura typical of Death Grips' West Coast fellows Shabazz Palaces than the three-inches-from-your-ear sound of Exmilitary or the EP. Though it may be a bit far-reaching to compare this album so directly to Black Up, musical progression is undeniably present. Flatlander shines on No Love Deep Web, showing that Death Grips are more than an emaciated man with Rick Ross-esque hair distribution barking threats.

On that note, MC Ride shows progression as well. Although No Love Deep Web is still rife with his booming, authoritative, and violent bellows, he allows cracks to form in this stone cold persona. On the album's opening track MC Ride paints a picture of himself at the end of his sanity, contemplating suicide as release (if he's still alive at all):

"Street or nosedive to the next life in seconds,
and suicide ain't my stallion,
So I'm surrounded
...
Come up and get me."


"Can't tell in my head
Thirteenth bell, am I dead?
Or in asylum, pill force fed?
Lyin' to myself all by myself,
Strapped down to my bed.
Tongue cut out the mouth of reason
And chucked off the river’s edge..."


All through these very bleak and helpless verses and choruses MC Ride's delivery is similarly helpless and maniacal, punctuating each line with cracks and wavers of voice that are almost pitiful, modes of emotional expression that seem rare in hip-hop.

All progressions aside, this is still very much a Death Grips album. It’s not likely that there has been enough alteration to win over the naysayers, and that is perfectly fine. Those who are fans of the group’s previous efforts will likely find that, where The Money Store displayed that Death Grips could utilize more than guitars in the creation of their sound and more than pure vocal volume in the conveying of their message, No Love Deep Web shows a band that no longer needs to support itself by virtue of its previous releases. The evolution from guitar to synthesizer, from wordless expressions to expressive words, from hyped to heavyweight, have all been completed. Death Grips are here to stay. And they're still going hard. Full on hard.


user ratings (612)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
Robert Lowe CONTRIBUTOR (3.5)
Death Grips throw up their hands at their record label and self release their grittiest album yet...

Richard Cory (4)
It’s all suicide…...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Blind
October 3rd 2012



425 Comments


yo this is a dope review dude

Ire
October 3rd 2012



41746 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

dope

Blind
October 3rd 2012



425 Comments


af
dope af
read: rad

Ovrot
October 3rd 2012



10457 Comments


so many dicks
it's like a party at maniac's house

Digging: Emptiness - Nothing but the Whole

Blind
October 3rd 2012



425 Comments


I DON'T KNOW WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT ANYMORE

Ire
October 3rd 2012



41746 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

lol ov

EatSunshineStreet
October 3rd 2012



4 Comments


Thank you very much for the kind words. This is my first review, so it's a good confidence boost
^_______^;;;

someguest
October 4th 2012



20234 Comments


how many times do I gotta see this dick on the front page?

lmfao

Digging: Modest Mouse - The Lonesome Crowded West

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
October 4th 2012



9975 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Your first review was definitely a success, friend. This is even feature-worthy, to be honest.

Digging: Deniro Farrar - Rebirth

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2012



49758 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I know, it put mine to shame
I would love to see this featured hehe

Digging: Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) - You Will Eventually Be Forgotten

someguest
October 4th 2012



20234 Comments


just read the summary

fuckin lol

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2012



49758 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Firmly grasp it in your hand
FIRMLY GRASP IT

DarthMann
October 4th 2012



13476 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

valar morghulis sweet review

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2012



49758 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I got some shit to say just for da fuck of it
dem thangs dem thangs don't even ask

DarthMann
October 4th 2012



13476 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

sure

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2012



49758 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

That's the best line

Counterfeit
October 4th 2012



17819 Comments


haha dix all over

HighandDriving
October 4th 2012



3261 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Ban the reviewer for posting a dick, please.

Digging: Nightmares - Suspiria

MalleusMaleficarum
October 4th 2012



13649 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

album rules

more fags jumping onto the bandwagon tho

chambered49
October 4th 2012



1727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

u were the first



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