Artist Profiles: Death Grips

One indie group I think is very underrated is Death Grips. Little is known about this enigmatic group but there’s no better introduction to their work than to listen to The Money Store. Their live show set-up consists of three guys who formed their group in Sacramento. They have been hit or miss on tour, cancelling several shows. I can’t say for sure but just from listening to them,  I’m pretty sure that seeing them live would be nothing short of…uh, that word again…EPIC!

Zach_Hill

While long hair may get in your eyes while drumming, it helps heighten the intensity of this photo significantly

1. I’ve Seen Footage-This is the track that initially got me interested in Death Grips. It almost has a Salt ‘n Peppa’s “Push It” feel to it at first (Which is not a good thing!) but it goes a different direction very quickly. This is one of the more cleaner sounding Death Grips songs but there’s still plenty of distortion and mixing of the vocals. They feature some of the best sounding electronic effects and use them in a way that sounds dark and cool rather than awkward and cheesy like the new wave acts of the 80’s. Give it a try, but don’t give up on it right away if you dislike it. It comes off as abrasive at first, but if you give it a few more listens, that will wear off and you’ll be might able to appreciate it.

2. The Fever (Aye, Aye)

No this isn’t a song about scurvy and pirates. It’s an electronic-infused rap song with some, shall we say, darker lyrics. It appears to be some not so pleasant subject matter and I wish I knew what “the fever” was but apparently my street cred is lacking because I’m still lost on what it’s supposed to mean. Fortunately, there’s no need to understand a song’s message in order to enjoy it. It features a building up intro, a catchy bridge, and a chorus that delivers by hitting  hard with top-notch vocals and effects (@0:51).  The vocal talents of Stefan Burnett, aka “MC ride” are on display fully in this song.

3. Lost Boys. This is probably my favorite song by them so far. The intro has an “off the beaten path in terms of a hip-hop song ” feel to it. The backing female vocalist along with dubbing in MC Ride’s vocals throughout create a district aura on this track. It could accompany a movie scene where some type of heist is going down or any other event that would be tense going into. The lyrics to this track appear to be much easier to interpret. The song just describes some misguided individuals living out their lives in a manner not deemed acceptable by society. Watching an interview of the band. The drummer Zach Hill describes their music as a painful rehashing of all the bad things that have gone on in their lives. Even though the majority of their music does not have positive message, the main purpose of it is to help them connect with all sorts of individuals, especially those who have also spent a portion of their lives suffering through hardship to some degree. It’s hard for me to imagine many other groups that can accomplish this as much as they do.