First impressions: Death Grips – The Money Store

death grips cover art the money store

At the end of the Come Up And Get Me video, I saw MC Ride’s soul: a resigned vulnerability. It was like looking into the face of a bear and meeting the eyes of a man. It’s a slap in the face after being punched in the throat; a startle on top of a shock. He’d seemed only nominally human.

I’m hearing this the wrong way round – The Money Store is the first album. I loved I’ve Seen Footage, but hadn’t heard the rest until now. Too busy listening to No Love Deep Web, the latter album they put out for free a few months back. If No Love Deep Web had been brutal, The Money Store is sheer bloody carnage. It could teach Numb a thing or two about anger, and give Silverfish a lesson in vitriola.

Unrestrained fury.

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MC Ride barks, snarls, screams and spits a string of deftly-delivered expletives like a man about to chew the face off a stranger. They should have cast him in Pitch Black and been done with it. Death Grips is Dexter‘s Dark Passenger urging the driver to kill; preening gangsta rappers are the kids from Bugsy Malone.

The music is a tsunami of noise, roughly where industrial should have ended up if it hadn’t flounced off to paint its nails. It’s not the most intricate music, and doesn’t have to be: this is MC Ride’s show, and anything more delicate than a blunt weight of beats and bleeps would distract – and he will have your attention. That comes to the fore with the wildly infectious Hacker, which is seriously catchy stuff, but relegates MC Ride to just another rapper, which would make Death Grips any band.

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Art-hop? Death rap? Death Grips are bestial and cerebral; there’s an artistry and sophistication belied by the surface brutality.  The Money Store is the type of album you need a bath after hearing. It’s grubby and grimy, bleak and grim. It’s the sound of annihilation, an anguished howl of outrage.

No Love Deep Web might have grabbed headlines, but The Money Store crawls under your skin and stays there.

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