Death Grips - Ex Military
Get scared. Get really scared. This is Death Grips.
Death Grips is a California hip-hop group who’ve put themselves out there with minimum information and a lot of underground hype. The disclaimer that goes with this artist is of its over-bearing…loudness. Much like Sleigh Bells or Odd Future, these guys approach a genre with wildness. But where Sleigh Bells translate volume into style and Odd Future mold social commentary out of abrasive attitudes, Death Grips is much more grizzly with their agenda.
With their debut release, Ex Military, there is a bold proposition both in a philosophical and contemporary context presented. On a first interpretation, Death Grips can feel like a radical group of anarchists at a music festival, waving their violent and freakish flag in a corner whilst the majority walks right by it with no serious regard. But there’s much more relevancy and meaning to what may just seem like a gimmicky ‘shock value’ artist.
The album can be represented, as a whole, through three of its most pivotal tracks. The first, Guillotine (It Goes Yah), is a dense and heavily abstract track that tips the scale back and forth between spoken word and hip-hop. The most prominent feature of the song is its basic yet unforgettable beat that sounds like God stomping its foot on the world and you hearing it thousands of miles away. It’s a viciously dark track that suffocates you with its claustrophobic production and themes of suicide, not to mention, a terrifying music video to boot. The next is Ex Military’s main single: Takyon (Death Yon), a monumental track for the album and Death Grips’ uncontrollable style. It follows closely to Guillotine, yet it packs all the punches you wouldn’t think it dared to. This is seriously as close as hip-hop will get to punk while placing both attitudes on full throttle. Towards the end of Ex Military is where Death Grips averts from the obtuse abstractness and makes sense of their motives more on the track, I Want It I Need It (Death Heated). The song works as a work of prose about our generation’s filthy urges for pleasure; sex, drugs and repeat until you die. It helps to place the entire album in a certain perspective in our minds.
Ex Military is an album that needs to be talked about. From any possible interpretation made, this is a release that will definitely leave a mark on your psyche; some harder than others. If you’re in need of a defibrillator doused in gasoline charged to your forehead, Death Grips might be your musical match. This is not for the faint of heart, but for anyone else, Ex Military is a seriously urgent piece of art that’ll knock you out cold.
This album was my dad. (9/10)
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