Saturday, February 6, 2016

Song of the Day #268 - Death Grips - Hot Head

Someone get this hot head outta here!

I kept changing my mind about what I wanted to do for Song of the Day today, and my indecisiveness was rewarded with this. Bottomless Pit is real! LP7 is coming! It seems pretty crazy, right? Like I had made my peace with the end of Death Grips after the announcement that accompanied niggas on the moon, I had accepted that, I had made sense of it. Like 6 albums, that's a lot, that's a pretty substantial run, and it seemed that an abrupt finale befitted the band. And Jenny Death?? "On GP"?? It's hard to picture a more perfect career end. The sensibility and completeness of these feelings made me still believe that Death Grips, even when I saw them live, even when I saw them announce the new album.

But this? This is undeniable. They're back. New music. It's really happening. And the incomprehensibility of it, the disbelief, the confusion, all of it seems to be rolled into the song itself, plunged deep into it. Or like... doesn't it seem inherently a bit wrong that a band this "guerrilla" or "violent" or "unstable" is working on their seventh album? Like doesn't that betray a sort of... responsibility and sustainability? There's very little in life that sounds exciting to someone, and then you say "and they did it for seven years" and not have them assume it would get a bit routine, a bit... boring? Death Grips, boring? Ha haa.

No, no, this is the band at their most compellingly insane and creatively unbound yet. It's like Jenny Death and niggas on the moon being played at the same time. But with no hooks, verses, choruses, motifs... there's no point of stability, no structural indicators, no guidance... it really evokes this idea of a Bottomless Pit, where you just fall into things again and again, further and further, various circles of hell whizzing past you, just on and on and on... if the whole album was like this, all songs with absolutely no hook-verse structures, just continual freefall, that would be... amazing.

Especially if every "circle" is as interesting as the ones we've sampled on here. There's the "bluhbluhbluhbluhbluhbluh" layer, which sees MC Ride at his most delirious, with Zach Hill drumming that sound like whole on attacks, and the whole thing is brought to this monstrous volcanic boil before our eyes. Then, a minute in, the "arpeggiator" layer: "Raw, no fucking filter, crooked needle, hot head"... it sounds like Satanic Burial. Oh man the crazy "inhale robot" voice, I always found that voice really... almost "nauseating" to hear,  but I LOVE it here. All my disturbing history has made it all the more emphatic. Then after another transitional machine roar, we enter the "head of piranha" circle of hell, which is pure Jenny Death punk energy. Blasting their way through rocks and their own bones alike... Then okay okay we do see some element of "return" to the "arpeggiator" layer, true, but everything is dramatized and emphasized that we feel "deeper" into it, like oh man the "I just told em hell's existence" at 3:50 is chilling... and then the super-abrupt transition, sounding not unlike the intra-song transitions, giving further credence to my theory that maybe the whole album will have this "structure", or lack thereof... total obliteration of patterns, total war with meaning, total annihilation of predictability. It's like... they thought "what can we do next?" and thought of four or five things, and then did all of them at once. It's like the Death Grips AI going insane and crazily recursing over poor sample data of what a "song" is. It's like nothing else.

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