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Death Grips - 'The Money Store'
An unconvincing release from this Sacramento rap trio
‘The Money Store’ – the group’s major-label debut, and the first of two projected full-lengths in 2012 – is not here to make friends. The cover pictures a dominatrix who has carved the words ‘Death Grips’ into her gimp’s chest. The production – handled by Andy Morin and Zach Hill, the latter of noise-rockers Hella – is a battery of distortion-laced Neptunes beat clank, strobing synths and rhythms pitched up to triple (or quadruple) time. On ‘Hustle Bones’, diva vocals are fashioned into bullets and machine-gunned over decayed bass growls, while ‘I’ve Seen Footage’ resembles Salt-n-Pepa’s ‘Push It’ reworked to soundtrack a montage of war crimes hosted on YouTube.
In short bursts, the likes of ‘Get Got’ – a juke-speed future shock of convulsing synths, on which Ride raps like a malfunctioning computer speech program – is bracing. But it’s hard to glean any sense of intention, let alone manifesto, from the lyrics, and the manner in which it’s presented is, in the end, alienating. ‘The Money Store’ offers a glimpse of sonic dystopia that’s utterly convincing. Their next mission is to find a way to convince us to come visit.
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