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Death Grips, The Powers That B (Third Worlds Records)
CD Reviews: April 2, 2015

04/02/15
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



Death Grips, The Powers That B (Third Worlds Records)

This experimental hip-hop three-piece is absolutely adored by keep-it-realer-ers, even more so by the nerd patrol headed by Pitchfork.com and Youtube’s Needle Drop, whose bald head visibly exploded when he found out this LP was streeting during the same cycle as Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly. The dweeby spazzing of critics and fans alike is as histrionically scattershot as rapper Ride’s expertly playacted vitriol — this is modern rap’s version of old-time all-ages punk, where emotions would switch from “I want to chase jocks with a baseball bat” to “I love mom’s spaghetti” within the same verse — it’s truly a revenge-gasm for all those Stans who hate corporate bling. Two records are here, the first dominated by drummer Zach Hill’s chopping and pureeing of voice samples from Icelandic singer Bjork (who enthusiastically tweeted about her contributions, point of order), most prettily in “Black Quarterback,” which — sure, I’ll say it — exemplifies the massive potential of next-gen sampling in general.  Mostly, though, the beats are loud, chaotic, bleeding-edge laptop violence, a Kandinsky-esque mess, as if the very roots of dub, grime and haunted-house were thrown in a Cuisinart. Eh, I suppose if I were young enough to detest this generation’s aesthetic sense so deeply and intrinsically, they’d be my heroes too. A — Eric W. Saeger





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