In this modern world we are so overstimulated it takes the mind-melting sonic aesthetic of Death Grips to, paradoxically, give one some respite from the ‘noise’.

The first single released from this avant-garde-proto-punk-electro outfit’s new album Government Plates is ‘You Might Think He Loves You For Your Money But I Know What He Really Loves You For It’s Your Brand New Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat’, a Bob Dylan lyric which has now become an unintended tribute to Miranda Kerr and James Packer’s tryst.

It opens the third LP for the Sacramento three-piece – Stefan Burnett (vocals), Zach Hill (drums) and Andy Morin (samples). The alternative mainstream’s embrace has resulted in Death Grips taking no prisoners on Government Plates. The album swings from bass-heavy punk to uptempo dubstep, heavy electro and even phases of late ’90s dance cheese.

The aforementioned first single from the album begins with Burnett crying, “Get some fucking dog in here WAH BLAH WAHHH FUCKIN GRRRR BLAHH WAHHH / Fuck it don’t start shit,”* then a mind-slaying compressed bass synth drops in – it will leave you out of breath.

On the other hand, ‘This Is Violence Now (Don’t Get Me Wrong)’ is positively fruity, with a frenetic drum and bass rhythm, chirping keys and a female vocal sample that is more 1999 than cargo pants.

In fact, there is something distinctly ’90s about this album, but with a tweens atomic digital redux. A comparison that first came to mind when I heard Death Grips was Atari Teenage Riot (apparently they’re still around but the German duo’s heyday was around 1999), and other digital hardcore acts like Fuck Buttons and The Liars are also fair likenesses. But, really, there are no acts around like Death Grips – so get into them now before this aberration becomes a myth or rumour spoken about in hushed voices.

*I have no fucking idea what the actual lyrics are.

4.5/5 stars


Government Plates is out now through Third Worlds.

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