Abrasion is the main point of attraction for many when it comes to the creative output of Death Grips. That raw aggressiveness and their allure as a unique breed of modern punks that blurred the lines of performance art has undeniably altered the future of music as an expressive medium. When they announced their break up earlier this year, fans were shattered but many saw it as the natural conclusion to what was a project more than a career.
Of course, they weren’t going to part without a final gift in the form of a long-release double LP the powers that b, spelt entirely in lowercase in true Death Grips style. The first half of the LP dropped in June in the form of niggas on the moon, a notably more freeform collection of songs featuring Björk. Even for Death Grips, the tracks were erratic, shifting tone and comprehensibility at a breakneck pace. The second half, jenny death, is reportedly complete and the first track off it is hot, fresh and ready to go and to prove it, they just shared a slice.
Like many of the tracks on the first half of the powers that b, ‘Inanimate Sensation’ changes pace and tone really frequently, pretty much demanding your attention as it plays. The accompanying video has a strong visual emphasis on underdeveloped computer generated imagery, reminiscent of some of the videos they put out for the Government Plates album such as ‘Big House‘ and ‘Two Heavens‘ with a much shaggier looking MC Ride rippling around the screen of a felled jumbotron. It’s definitely a dense kind of statement, begging multiple watches just to shake that feeling of discomfort that the collective seem to have focused on more and more in the second half of their discography.
Fun trivia time: If you look closely, the bottom right panel of the jumbotron, the image of a scratched up concrete-mounted streetlight, is the cover of the powers that b. However, the beer bottle above it is also adorned in the exact same scratch pattern. Could this mean Death Grips are transitioning from conceptual record label to band to brewery? I hope so. I imagine their ‘fear, sweat and broken glass’ pale ale would be an unrivalled contender for most brutal beverage of 2015.
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