3/22/17 – Death Grips “Bottomless Pit” (2016)

Death Grips is an experimental hip hop group that have I’ve been listening to nearly nonstop since their debut album Exmilitary (2011). They make very energetic, aggressive, abrasive, frantic, and captivating music. Just about every album of theirs took some time for me to really enjoy to the extent I do now, but this album was the fastest for me to catch on. Although Bottomless Pit isn’t my favorite album of theirs, I think it’s the one I’ve listened the most to, even though it just came out last year. As a side note, I’m a big fan of the oddly sexual cover art.

What separates this album from the rest is the consistency and accessibility, even passing The Money Store (20012) – this is the easiest to get into as a new fan. Barring the explosive intro of Giving Bad People Good Ideas and Hot Head, I think even casual music fans will have something to enjoy in songs like Warping and BB Poison… at least compared to their previous work. MC Ride still yells lyrics over the blaring synths of Andy Morin and Zach Hill’s pounding drums. Only this time around there is a lot less noise influence, the samples and drum lines are much less abrasive and much more catchy. In past albums, I think certain members of the bands shined more than others, but with this album everyone was on point.

Listening to Death Grips absolutely requires headphones and turning it up as loud as you can stand it. The production on Bottomless Pit is just gorgeous, the sounds are so rich with things I haven’t noticed on previous listenings. What always gets me is how short and compact the album feels, even though it’s longer than Government Plates (2013). It just lends itself to repeat listens, and I’ve never gotten that feeling of “oh this is getting old” when listening to this album. The closest thing I have to a complaint is Hot Head – I never find myself discovering more to like in the song, I feel like it just goes in circles, as if it was just a few unfinished songs that were mashed together. Who knows though, especially with Death Grips. Even with the re-listen for this review, I noticed that nearly every song ends the same – a hard cut to an echo that dies off quickly.

I can’t recommend this music enough, even though I know a number of people will be turned off by it. If you’ve tried Death Grips in the past, give this album a shot. Anyone who likes their music loud – whether that’s punk, industrial, rock, hip hop, metal, etc. I think can enjoy this. Give it a few listens, you might end up liking it more than you thought you could. The first time I heard their song Inanimate Sensation (from their album Jenny Death [2015]) I thought Death Grips had gone too far, that it was just garbage and nearly unlistenable. Now it’s in my top 5 favorite songs from them. Maybe it’s all just Stockholm Syndrome… For now though, I think this album is genius just like many of their other records.

 

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