Cut through the controversy of its release and there are diamond-hard gems herein.
John Doran 2012-10-05
When Death Grips’ Exmilitary mixtape turned up in 2011, it was evident we were dealing with a phenomenon. Featuring samples of Charles Manson, Jane’s Addiction and Black Flag; deranged, messianic pseudo-rapping by MC Ride; and punkish electro/juke influenced production by Zach Hill and Andy Morin, it was a record the exact likes of which hadn’t been heard before.
Kudos should be given to major label Epic/Columbia for snapping the band up and putting out their mighty debut "proper" The Money Store in April 2012. That said, it hasn’t really come as a surprise that it’s taken only a few months for the partnership to run into trouble. No Love Deep Web has been self-released (or self-leaked, if you will) via Soundcloud and BitTorrent after the label wanted to put its release date back to 2013.
The record is certainly denser and more difficult to find an entry point into than either of its predecessors; but this is not remotely to say that their label made the right the decision. After several listens, a handful of stone-cold, diamond-hard gems present themselves from of a scree of electronic beats and stentorian rapping/shouting.
Amongst these highs are the Autechre-like Artificial Death in the West and the footwork banger Whammy. The beats, their most juke- and IDM-influenced to date, were all recorded live by Zach Hill playing V-Drums and a live kit, which is simply mind-blowing given the labyrinthine complexity contained within.
But what does the future hold for Death Grips? Certainly the album cover, featuring the title written in a felt-tip along the shaft of an erect penis, could reasonably be interpreted as a message to their label. (Who, for their part, probably had reasons for suggesting a 2013 release date.) Two things are clear: get this album while you can, and it’s a good job it wasn’t called My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky.