Death Grips
The Money Store


2.0
poor

Review

by IronGiant USER (14 Reviews)
April 20th, 2014 | 115 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Like fitting a square peg into a circular hole

The Money Store was an album I invested a lot of time into to try to get to know. I had originally heard of it through all the traction it was receiving two years ago. After listening to the first couple tracks however, I was dumbfounded how it was ever thought of so affectionately, let alone in the discussion for album of the year. I remember hearing the positive commentary from big names in the reviewing industry–sites like the usually hard-to-please Pitchfork adorning this album with an 8.7 and the title of ‘Best New Music’, while Drowned in Sound gave The Money Store a perfect 10, heralding the album as a “game changer”. And as I pressed play one more time and heard Get Got’s beat sizzle and crack out of the speakers, sounding like something out of Kid A on amphetamines, I buckled in my seatbelt and held on for dear life as I, yet again, sat shotgun in Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.

Pinpointing this album’s genre is quite difficult; if there was a category called “soundtrack to the night you won’t remember” this would surely fall under it. There is no foreground and background like the music you are use to. The vocals are as much an instrument as the polyrhythmic drums, provided aptly and live by Hella’s Zach Hill, which are used as gasoline to fuel the cacophonous tonal fire. There are definitely roots in trap and industrial, as the beats either sound like computers on repertory machines (System Blower) or like Dubstep on downers (Bitch Please). To call this a rap album however would be quite a stretch as there is barely any rapping on the The Money Store so much as there is yelling.

MC Ride is aggressive, howling and spitting like a feral wolf in every song. The vocals are chopped and skewed, gritty, and most noticeably, loud and incoherent. The songs all sound like the taped ramblings of a returned veteran who has seen the horrors of a foreign land and has had a bit too much to drink and a lot too much snort, smoke, inject, and ingest. It’s suffocating. Blackjack is aural paranoia, the words twisted and smothered by beats that would sound right at home on last year’s Yeezus. It’s frantic. Hustle Bones sounds like three different songs overlapped and fused with one another, ultimately culminating in pure robotic anti-music.

And perhaps that is what irritates me most about Death Grips. There is no focus, no streamlined musical idea that either of the two members of Death Grips seem to have in mind. There is no variety. There is no breather. There is no rest. No stylistic shifts present or surprises around the corner. After you’ve heard the album’s first track, you’ve basically heard them all. In all fairness, however, The Money Store isn’t trying to be the next ‘big thing’. It is, however, attempting to offer an avant-garde alternative for those who just need a kick in the balls or an escape from the sugary-sweet drab of radio pop. Unfortunately for the Death Grips, The Money Store is sullied by their over-ambitious zeal to do just that. The music tries to be different for difference sake and winds up being abrasive and isolating.

But I've given the album a fair shot. I've tried to like it, to even appreciate it. I have approached the music at different angles, trying to see what so many others have keenly noticed beneath the layers of dissonance and bass that classifies The Money Store as a 'classic'.

But I've failed.

So maybe I just don’t get it. Perhaps this is an album misunderstood by those like me and is only later able to be appreciated by those who neglect the album in a retrospective light that benefits from being able to see the bigger picture–the influence the album has on artists and other music alike¬–much like Black Sabbath’s self-titled 1970 release which opened the floodgates for Heavy Metal years later. An even more recent example is Burial’s 2006 eponymous debut which has become a huge landmark in Dubstep and Garage. But like most of the things in life that try to stick out by being completely different from everything else around them (Crocs, MySpace, Grunge, etc.), The Money Store feels more like a phase than a genuine classic, an album that has reached the apex of its possible satisfaction and is now beginning its descent, becoming nothing more than memories and nostalgia by 2017.

This is music for the people who are tired of listening to what is deemed ‘acceptable’ and ‘popular’ by a seemingly less-than-qualified consensus. And in that aspect, The Money Store is like the Punk-Rock movement of the 70s. It’s an effort to create a new norm by challenging the listener on what he thinks or knows is ‘allowed’ in various types of music, whether it be dubstep, rap, hip-hop, and even hardcore. It’s the sound of a band that doesn’t give a **** and appeals to others who feel the same.

Sure, Death Grips might be the music of the future. And if by 2025 this album still serves as a landmark, than I will have been wrong, hopelessly blind to the evolutionary path music took and labeled indefinitely as someone who thought he knew better and was ultimately put in his place by Time itself. But until that day, after spending 41 minutes of my life listening to The Money Store, the only thought that currently manifests is, “I want a refund”.



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user ratings (1293)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
IronGiant
April 20th 2014


861 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

my first negative review. Writing one of these is a hell of a lot harder than a positive, as you have to convince other's who like the album to see potential weak spots in it. hope you guys like it, feedback is always appreciated.

NuclearTennisCourt
April 20th 2014


132 Comments


Well written, but, while I have never listened to Death Grips, I can't help but get the feeling that there's a point you might be missing from reading this review(which you yourself have already touched upon), it deserves a pos nonetheless

MyNameIsPencil
April 20th 2014


636 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Very well written review man, while I enjoy this album a lot, I can totally understand why someone wouldn't like this album. I pos'd

Digging: Karnivool - Themata

Calc
April 20th 2014


12255 Comments


"as you have to convince other's who like the album to see potential weak spots in it."

soon enough you'll be writing to show off your prose and wit and vocabulary rather then convincing people of anything. that's how you move up around here. good review though

IronGiant
April 20th 2014


861 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I appreciate the positive criticism guys. NuclearTennisCourt I'd love for you to elaborate on that so I can make this an even better review. What do you think I could explain better to someone who, like you, hasn't heard the album?

IronGiant
April 20th 2014


861 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

thanks Calc, glad you liked it. And yeah, I'm still pretty unknown here and although I appreciate the opportunity to move up on this site, I always want the music and its merit to be at the center of my reviews. Hope to continue to impress you guys in the future

deathschool
April 20th 2014


9242 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice review. Pos. the thing is, when you are describing the music, you aren't far off. It's just for the reasons you hate it, are the same reasons it is loved. I disagree about there being no variety though.

Digging: The Smith Street Band - Throw Me In The River

NuclearTennisCourt
April 20th 2014


132 Comments


I think you should start reviewing albums that don't already have reviews so that we can actually learn about different artists and such, and you won't have to deal with people who disagree with your review

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
April 20th 2014


7026 Comments


Perhaps this is an album misunderstood at the time of its birth and later appreciated in a retrospective light that benefits from being able to see the album’s bigger picture–its influence on artists and other music alike

this contradicts your reference to the praise received by Pitchfork and Drowned in Sound. can't interpret it as initially misunderstood and later appreciated when it's been appreciated from the start

NuclearTennisCourt
April 20th 2014


132 Comments


"I disagree about there being no variety though."
variety within a genre is rarely noticed by someone who isn't already familiar with the genre.

IronGiant
April 20th 2014


861 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Great point Lucid! I suppose when I meant misunderstood, I was referring to the people like me who don't see what Pitchfork and DiS did initially. I'll clear that up though in my review. And point taken Nuclear, I'll try to write the first review for an album next.

IronGiant
April 20th 2014


861 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

cleaned up that sentence Lucid, hope it reads a bit better and conveys what I had originally intended

Gwyn.
April 20th 2014


15161 Comments


Pos. Fuck this alb.

I don't see what you mean by it not being appreciated now though, it has a bit of a following and Pitchfork loves them. You see a lot of people hating them here (including me obviously) but that doesn't mean there aren't a lot of people who love them.

Tyrael
April 20th 2014


20928 Comments


It’s the jet plane flying over your head at mach 2 right as you tell your long-term girlfriend that
you love her for the first time. It’s the newborn baby screaming bloody murder next to you as you try
to enjoy your first time flying first class. It’s the fly buzzing around your ear at two in the
morning as you try to get some sleep before the big Finance mid-term you have to take in six hours.
It’s Death Grips’ 2012 sophomore release, The Money Store.


well aren't you a comedic genius

I bet you could help Adam Sandler with the writing for his next movie!

BigPleb
April 20th 2014


37363 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hi Ty :]

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins on Io

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
April 20th 2014


1670 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review man, don't really agree with you but you provided some very good points.

dimsim3478
April 20th 2014


5223 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

so i read this review and now i've written half a review of my own
and now it's 4AM. fuck maaaaaan
good review by the way dude you're quickly becoming one of the better user-tier writers on the site

This is music for the rebels, the ones who are tired of listening to what is deemed ‘acceptable’ and ‘popular’ by a seemingly less-than-qualified consensus.

I honestly think that they just make angry bangers. Not really breaking away from the general consensus but stretching the boundaries of it, for sure.

Digging: The Smith Street Band - Throw Me In The River

IronGiant
April 20th 2014


861 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

thanks Ty, if reviews don't work out, it's good to know I have a place in the movie business! and thank you hogan and
dimsim for the kind words. and yes, the boundaries of music today are definitely being stretched by groups like this and
Future Islands. Gwyn, I feel like people enjoy this album because they aren't listening to it so much as enjoying its
presence... it's background music for parties not music to sit down to and go out of your way to listen to while you do
work around the house or homework or anything.

deathschool
April 20th 2014


9242 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm not much of a partier and I love this.

IronGiant
April 20th 2014


861 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I just can't see the application this album has other than for destroying subwoofers across America in rich white suburban kids' cars haha but to each his own. glad the album means something to you deathschool, I have some albums not everyone gets but I love so I understand the feeling somewhat



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