Review Summary: An album that maintains the trademark Death Grips sound, but also changes things up to a substantial degree.
”Jenny Death When?”
It was a simple question-turned-internet phenomenon that took the music world by storm for several months. Asked by many and acknowledged by the band themselves on their Fashion Week
album, the quip practically became a joke to many as Death Grips tested their fan base’s patience over the nine month wait for the apparent “final” Death Grips LP, The Powers That B.
Split into two parts, Powers
’s two halves are vastly different from each other while maintaining the trademark Death Grips sound. It is easy to say that Death Grips just make baseless “shock” music, but that just isn’t the case. With every album, Death Grips has changed their sound in one way or another while keeping the unique industrial/hip-hop sound that was established with Full Moon (Death Classic)
. The Powers That B
– with its diverse palette of sounds, from the glitchy Niggas on the Moon
and the guitar-riddled and illustrious Jenny Death
– is no exception at all.
Niggas on the Moon
, part one, needs little to no explanation. A thirty-minute schizophrenic beat-driven spectacle, Niggas on the Moon
features vocal samples of Bjork and instrumentation done completely on V-Drums by Zach Hill, who is the foundation of the off-kilter rhythmic freak outs that Death Grips is well associated with. Tracks such as Up My Sleeves
and Black Quarterback
showcase a band at their experimental peak, with even more room to develop. Part two, the long-awaited and outrageously hyped Jenny Death
, is the next step in Death Grips’ evolution as a band that not only surprised, but was also a snapshot of a band outdoing themselves effortlessly. From the abrasive Inanimate Sensation
, to the guitar-driven Turned Off
and all the way to the fast-paced and adrenaline-fueled instrumental Death Grips 2.0
, Jenny Death
is less of step forward as it is a step backwards. Incorporating more use of the guitar while greatly meshing it together with the howling vocals of Stefan “MC Ride” Burnett and the frenzied synthesizers of Andy “Flatlander” Morin, Jenny Death
is an effective mix of the electronically-dominated Government Plates
and the vocal-centric Exmilitary
all neatly in one intense recording.
Almost like an event, The Powers That B
is something so highly anticipated that the hype itself was unbearable, yet so hard to resist its exciting invitation to join in. The two halves of the album complement each other greatly, and show the band and their ability to change their sound at a whim from the beats and samples of Niggas on the Moon
, to the worldly sonic tour-de-force of Jenny Death.
Now and forevermore, the question has finally been answered, and it’s safe to say: Jenny Death is no longer when
, but right here
and right now
It’s been a pleasure, Stefan.