Published May 13, 2016It was anyone's guess as to where the music of Death Grips would head next following the pummelling electronics of The Powers That B closer "Death Grips 2.0." Of course, that doesn't even cover the rest of the musical spectrum that record explored, with everything from hardcore punk to psych rock having played a role.
The trio's latest full-length, Bottomless Pit, isn't as explicitly ambitious as its predecessor. If anything, it's the closest they've come to the experimental hip-hop label they were saddled with upon the release of The Money Store in 2012. But despite pairing their explosive and experimental tendencies with straightforward song structures for this latest descent into sonic despair, the record is hardly a rehash.
Still very in tune with the idea of aural bludgeoning, the guitars of Tera Melos' Nick Reinhart return to set the tone on blasting opener "Giving Bad People Good Ideas" before "Hot Head" leaps between groovy, arpeggiated verse sections and abandons all sense and structure. The latter is the strangest things get here. More bass, drums and keys come together for the following songs to crush both slowly ("Warping") and quickly ("Spikes"), while the frantic circuitry of "Eh" and "Trash" would rather dance around you than beat you into submission, as they represent the band's rare but welcome lighter moments.
Still as loud as ever in his delivery, MC Ride's attention to lyrical hooks is more pronounced, with tracks such as "Warping," "Bubbles Buried in this Jungle," "Trash" and "Three Bedrooms in a Good Neighborhood" all revolving around repetitive, memorable writing. Outside of that, his lyricism primarily concerns itself with liberal references to death (of course), drugs and sex, some of which are quite graphic; look no further than the entirety of "Ring a Bell" or the roaring title track's chorus of "I fucked you in half."
Such topics are juxtaposed with a look at the endless sea of online content in a monotone manner on "Trash," and poking fun at their own rabid fanbase on "BB Poison." Don't take the latter too seriously, though — for those who ran out of goodwill for the band's music and antics post-Money Store, Death Grips 2.0 is worth looking into. (Third Worlds)