Album Review: Death Grips-Fashion Week

Death Grips Fashion Week It is not likely for anyone to be a hip hop or experimental music fan and not know what has been going on with Death Grips over the last year. Just in case though, the group announced it's breakup over Facebook and Twitter via a note drawn on a napkin. Since then, the flaky musical group dropped the first part of a double album titled The Powers That B with "Niggas on the Moon." Despite being ultimately disappointed by the first chapter of the record, the second part still gives me hope. The group never seems to come out with what anyone quite expects, so the double LP could have contrasting sides. With a title like Fashion Week, it could be expected early next month as well. These instrumentals seem like a tease to the new record, but it only thrills as a new release and not as something overly intriguing.

Death Grips are a band that blazed onto the music scene in 2011 with a lot of character. The abstract nature in which MC Ride and Zach Hill created their own visceral hip hop music is worth noting. The primal beats never adhere to a level of commercialism and shouted vocals make the band seem more like an industrial outfit. MC Ride finds a way to flow over top  of the beats with ease, stuttering and screaming to get his point across. Fashion Week gives fans a new look at their sound, purging the vocals out and embracing a more skeletal approach. The experience can be interesting for a good portion as well. It creates a good practice for fans of the genre to notice the nuance that it takes to make a lively beat. The little noise is more present from beginning to end due to not being distracted by vocals filling the gaps.

Overall, Fashion Week ends up being a mixed bag of beats that can be incredibly interesting or supremely frustrating. When the instrumentals hit their high points, they could be unused beats from past records like Government Plates or The Money Store. The live drums give the more visceral tracks a lively kick, while the tone and bass drop down low to allow the slight fear to set in. The level of danger of some of the tracks are palpable, like on “Runway H(first one)” and “Runway N(second one).” “Runway H” displays all the creepy characteristics of The Money Store, with boisterous electronics and a terrifying synthesizer group haunting the attack into the listener’s brain. “Runway N” has much less fear to introduce, but boasts the most life due to astounding drum work and an energetic flow that can incite a riot. Much like the band’s discography, the enhanced drum presence always yields better results.

The lows of the record dip down quite a bit though. The disappointing tracks show more of a focus on electronics over live instrumentation, making the instrumentals come off far too flat and dull for their own good. The first “Runway N” entry is hampered by a brutal electronic loop that sounds like a nightmare filled carnival, while “Runway A” relies too heavily on an alarm-like noise that become too cumbersome to deal with even for the short running time. The worst instrumentals either have an agitating  sample to rob the song of a chance to be enjoyable, or fall short of being interesting for a three minute segment.

Fashion Week is certainly an interesting record for fans of the controversial group, but show that Death Grips are too jumbled up at this point in time to be enjoyable over a long stanza. MC Ride not shouting and contorting over top of the beats are a slight disappointment as well, but there are just too many weak beats to make up for the truly special ones. Let us hope that the next time Death Grips are releasing music, it will be to complete the double album they have been holding back for such a long time.


Track Listing
1. Runway J
2. Runway E
3. Runway N
4. Runway N
5. Runway Y
6. Runway D
7. Runway E
8. Runway A
9. Runway T
10. Runway H
11. Runway W
12. Runway H
13. Runway E
14. Runway N

Death Grips Links:
Free Download Link:
Officlal Site:

About krthll1 (82 Articles)
I am a huge media fan in general. Video games, music, and movies tend to be the ticket to my happiness. As far as music goes, I like to listen to music that can convey any sense of tangible emotional impact, whether it be dark, depressive, or happy. Favorite artists include Deafheaven, Nine Inch Nails, Metallica, Kendrick Lamar, and Alice In Chains. I would like to thank everyone on the site for this opportunity and hope my output is worthy of the publishing.

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