Death Grips’ major label debut album The Money Store is a bolt of lightning: an album that sounds both completely of the moment and like nothing else currently going. The group have created a debut that is full of barren yet maximalist electronics made up of otherworldly samples, sickly synths and thunderous drum patterns with hyper-masculine aggressive rapping.
Aurally, it’s a messy, loose and overwhelming assault with sounds that are distorted and fight to be heard amongst the unrelenting mix. It’s all kept in check through sheer confidence and the band’s ear for a catchy hook.
This record belongs to lead vocalist MC Ride though – his vocals are put at the forefront with all the beats tailor-made to match his rhythm. He raps with a sort of wide-eyed confusion and an unhealthily aggressive flow.
Lyrically, he is sometimes nonsensical but always compelling. Indeed, on ‘Hacker’ he proudly screams – “my existence is a momentary lapse of reason”.
In terms of highlights, ‘Punk Weight’ begins with a Bollywood sample before blasting off with a one-note synth line that sounds like it’s blowing up your speakers. Elsewhere, ‘Hustle Bones’ begins with Formula 1 cars and contains one of the album’s most thrilling and uncharacteristically clear choruses.
At its core, the real pleasure of listening to this album comes from the fact that despite the entire sonic overload, it never feels like the work of more than three men. Full of rousing and unrelenting anthems, it’s unpredictable, confident, and utterly thrilling.
- Wyatt Lawton-Masi
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