Death Grips have released their second album of 2012 defying their major record label Epic Records. Death Grips are never without controversy with this album being the most controversial of all. A glance at the actual album cover reveals a slightly average/lower than average sized male genitalia (just saying). "The Money Store" is hardly six months old and already we have new material by the experimental hip-hop trio. What was once an individualistic concept has since become something of a joke. Releasing your album for free because your label delayed the album might just very well be the stupidest thing Death Grips have done. Maybe they think people would be impressed about this, total madness. Defying your record label in such a malicious way is extraordinary. Think about it, they're defying their employers; licenses have been broken here.
I personally favoured The Money Store over 2011's mix tape "Exmilitary". Critics argued over whether or not Death Grips could hold their own and release a studio album as good as the authentic mix tape. Most believe it to be true; others still have a gripe for Death Grip's debut album. Those that have a gripe for the debut will certainly have issues with "No Love Deep Web"; I can assure the reader this album will divide listeners completely. It's not just the nature if it's premature release; it's the content that's thought provoking and questionable.
The album sits firmly on top of an erect penis. Bass beats are at full focus, meaning percussion comes in a mere fourth place behind bass, vocals and synths. No Love Deep Web is technically raw; however defining raw won't reveal an album of layered bass beats. "Come Up And Get Me" is arguably the least provocative track on the album. Layers of bass and synth lines offer little over the aggressive MC Ride shrieks. The production hasn't faltered, the effects are still there. "Lil Boy" is just as unfriendly and repetitive as the opening track. A stark two noted synth line does nothing for me. The heavy bass segment that follows is actually quite catchy and dance-like. This track could be played in clubs; it's the bass and the childlike high pitched keyboard notations. MC Ride speaks clearly and slowly over the pre-chorus, and then the synth erupts for the chorus.
An early favourite would be "No Love". MC Ride eases his vocals in with volume and a sporadic bass riff. The following synth line is heavy, volume orientated and dark. MC Ride delivers a slightly forward and treble vocal for the chorus. Hiding behind the bass is a song structure that never falls apart. This album may be far less refined, far less involved and heavy; however it's still structural and respectable. "BlackDice" follows on in a similar pattern. It's around Black Dice when the bass beats become a little too much. These tracks are incredibly fast paced and with the heavy bass it becomes strangely hard to listen. Black Dice does have many features. The synth is a clear standout, as is the sudden finish to the track.
"World of Dogs" is another standout track. The refrain of, "It's all suicide" is enjoyable. It brings back the refrain days of Death Grips where constant stream of texts would read two/three worded lyrics from The Money Store and Exmilitary. "Lock Your Doors" is far heavier than the previous tracks. MC Ride utilizes reverb on this track. The actual instrumental is quite simplistic and basic. The synth bass rips through the centre of the track and it sounds like something out of a horror movie.
MC Ride steps beyond his usual angered style on "Whammy". The narrative lyrics work spectacularly well. The samples are beginning to come in to effect, and the bass is beginning to open up a little. This is a track that has both repetition and originality. As does the following track "Hunger Games". MC Ride shouts, "You can sit between the backseat and my dick," a usual Death Grips comment. The difference between this album and The Money Store is that these lyrics are expected now. We know we're going to be exposed to brilliant lyrical twists.
The soul destroying "Deep Web" is exactly what I just said, soul destroying. The bass is extremely heavy with an even louder and aggressive synth. The lyrics are certainly darker and deeper. "Don't make me take my face off", shouts MC Ride. A lyric that could signify irony given his current stance of anarchy. In contrast, "Stockton" doesn’t quite fit in with the other tracks here. Sure, the bass beats are present, but the vocals and beat sound amateurish at best. "Pop" follows with an even plainer structure than Stokton. It does however have a bright synth riff with reverberation and delay. It’s an interesting sound that never really comes out of Death Grips. It shows the light side and the dark side in the same song, in the same segment.
"Bass Rattle Stars Out The Sky" takes No love Deep Web to the next level. Forget the bass and forget the vocals, the synth here is ecstatic. Not many tracks excite me quite like this on No Love Deep Web. The following track "Artificial Death In The West” is actually my favourite on the album. The beat and synth loop are quite conventional. It sounds extremely political like the lyrics. This track sounds like Killer Music, leaning towards his recent track "Reagan".
It's hard to summarize an album that has been leaked way before its labels intended release date. No Love Deep Web happens to be a decent album, regardless of controversial aspects such as the album cover. Even then, it's hardly offensive. Death Grips have a predominantly male audience... The cover has a penis on it. Most of us have one; it's not a big deal at all. I'm just annoyed I have a severe amount of dicks on my last.fm page. The album opens with pace and slowly comes to a melodic, darker ending with the final two tracks. MC Ride may not have outdone himself lyrically, but he's still up there as one of the most important figures in modern underground music. The production team of Zach Hill and Andy Morin will be questioned. The Money Store was clearly heavier, louder and generally speaking better. Listeners can't take a great deal of information away from No Love Deep Web. It's not that kind of album. It's there for the listening and it's free. Arguably a mix tape, but we won't go down that road. It could very well be the album you've been waiting for. Death Grips haven’t combined both The Money Store and Ex-military. It has the production of Ex-military; it's just without the varieties.