Death Grips
Government Plates


3.3
great

Review

by Aziz STAFF
November 16th, 2013 | 709 replies


Release Date: 2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Unshackled.

At this point The Money Store seems so sugary, so long ago. Since balancing on the tips of the music world’s tongues, Death Grips has come quite a ways from their first offering of 2012. Yeah The Money Store was a glitchy, industrial mess of digitized noise, but at its core the urgency was structured, and for all its boisterous eruptions and plastering drums it was held in place by its greasy hooks and MC Ride’s authoritative, throaty statements. No Love Deep Web, which was essentially the year’s beacon of controversy, was, despite being more stripped-down and coarse, similar to its predecessor in its dense layers of mammoth synths and taut drums. While Zach Hill and Flatlander kept the album’s vertebral column erect with zooming, paranoid beats, MC Ride's howls, garbled and panicked, radiated among the disorder. And I say ‘disorder’ because of how tame that word is – at the time, Death Grips’ music probably did seem cataclysmic, tumultuous, discordant. But all that shit seems so glitzy now that hip-hop’s most polarizing outfit has released Government Plates, an unrestrained, grisly cacophony of sonic lawlessness. All of Death Grips’ obnoxious antics and strident “fuck you”s seem to have brought them (quite logically) to where they are now, bumbling frantically, apocalyptically at the edge of the cliff as the world beneath their feet starts to crumble and give way. This is the state of nature; this is true decadence.

There is no melody here, and there’s no restraint either. As quickly as the trio shed the influence of a record label, they jettisoned consonance and any semblances of reprieve that their music once comprised as well. Except on “Big House,” which is as close to a 2012 throwback as it gets on this album, with its spacey, rumbling layers of spinning electro pulses and Ride’s hypnotic echos of “L.A. creepin’ under my skin,” MC Ride isn’t even rapping anymore – he’s just roaring whatever the hell he feels like, jarringly and uncontrollably, whenever the hell he feels like disturbing the grainy soundscape behind him. Further, his delivery is more primal than ever. With the beats stripped back and shredded through, his visceral Tourette’s-influenced bluster stampedes across parched savannahs of tracks like “Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat” and “Anne Bonny”. The group’s approach of primitive, raw bedlam is pretty pervasive throughout the album; No Love Deep Web had some relatively mellow songs like closer “Artificial Death in the West,” which seemed almost seraphic when held up to Death Grips’ typically schizophrenic light, but these respites are all but gone on Government Plates, rearing their heads only briefly on songs like “Birds” before diving back into the mayhem. Unfortunately though, while the über-organic and undressed music is more than welcome, Government Plates, in typical Death Grips fashion, is not without its wealth of filler (“This is Violence Now,” the middle 3 minutes of “Birds,” “Bootleg” to name just a few) to bring it down. Its other major defect is that many tracks attempt to pack too much into an intensely terse runtime, changing quickly from one theme to the next, leaving many an idea unexcavated and unadorned. In cases like “Whatever I Want,” this experimentation works beautifully (likely due to the time it spends meandering through each schema) as it weaves in and out of lush, cascading surges of laser scales and an almost celestial atmosphere with ease. Other songs don’t get the same treatment though and as a result, occasionally feel unfinished. The result is a sometimes great, sometimes merely serviceable album which can stand among Death Grips’ ample discography, despite occasionally sacrificing melody for amplified pandemonium.



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user ratings (805)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
jamesturney (4.5)
Not my Death Grips!...

Brendan (2.5)
Flatlander’s mixtape with MC Ride occasionally providing vocals....

decoyoctopus (3.5)
It almost seems lazy to say that this album is a well-rounded mix of previous Death Grips endeavors,...


Comments:Add a Comment 
GnarlyShillelagh
Staff Reviewer
November 15th 2013


6386 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

Shouts out to Jacob Royal

YoYoMancuso
November 15th 2013


12303 Comments


"There is no melody here"

yeah definitely not getting this then, review is fantastic tho

oltnabrick
November 15th 2013


34791 Comments


Nice but.. .

GnarlyShillelagh
Staff Reviewer
November 15th 2013


6386 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

Ahh appreciate it yoyomancuso!



Also nice [2]

oltnabrick
November 15th 2013


34791 Comments


You forgot to compare this to Yeezus

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
November 15th 2013


53285 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

damn

Wadlez
November 15th 2013


4887 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Death yeezus! Good review

oltnabrick
November 15th 2013


34791 Comments


He made him a mod

GnarlyShillelagh
Staff Reviewer
November 15th 2013


6386 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

Admin actually



Also he taught me a new word

oltnabrick
November 15th 2013


34791 Comments


Admin?

GnarlyShillelagh
Staff Reviewer
November 15th 2013


6386 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

Ye he made me an administrator feel me

Gravitedious
November 15th 2013


11 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

this is so bad

Sungtongs
November 16th 2013


1 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I found out about death grips by listening to no love deep web. It just annoyed me. MC Ride's flow just made me laugh. Even though I was annoyed by it, I kept listening to it because deep inside I knew it was good. I'm now a really big death grips fan. I think government plates marks a great progression in their sound. I think this album is more ambient and jungle influenced than their previous work. The production is really new agey and bright, it kinda sounds like young lean.

Jade
Staff Reviewer
November 16th 2013


10660 Comments


yah bud i noticed it and it made me happy :-*

nice review too

paradox1216
Emeritus
November 16th 2013


730 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

deserves the feature, great review dude

FearThyEvil
November 16th 2013


14501 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

First listen and I enjoy it a lot. However, I can not stand Birds.

Kman418
November 16th 2013


13222 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

idk how they made the money store but then everything else they put out is like 3 verging on 3.5 material

ticsand
November 16th 2013


16 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I absolutely understand people who just don't like DG. I also understand why someone might not like this album if compared to TMS. If you want to believe what the band said in an interview, the sounds and structure on NLDW and GP are what they wanted DG to be. They are sure proud of TMS but I guess for them it was/is just too likeable, to easy. Just a thought.



But "Its other major defect is that many tracks attempt to pack too much into an intensely terse runtime, changing quickly from one theme to the next, leaving many an idea unexcavated and unadorned"....I would argue this is not due to a lack of musicianship, skill or whatever. Many of the sounds and structures on DG's new album remind me of Oneohtrix Point Never. The final track sounds like DG's R+7 to me.



Yes, I am aware that this may not be true for everyone. But for me, it is. I really enjoy this album.



(side-note: I think Birds perfectly fits the album. It makes even more sense than it did without the album surrounding it.)

Kman418
November 16th 2013


13222 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

what sucks is the first 3 tracks go so fucking HARRDDDDDD but after that its just like ehhh

Gwyn.
November 16th 2013


16725 Comments


I only got 5 (6? iunno) tracks before turning it off but shit felt more like a really fucking long intro to something

just a lot of random shit

I mean it don't matter what I think of tms at least the songs felt like songs



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