While not as album-oriented as their past efforts have been, Fashion Week functions well as a beat tape through the diverse range of influences that Hill and producer Andy "Flatlander" Morin and have chosen to explore. From the driving, fuzzed-out rock of "Runway N (2)" and "Runway H (2)," to the danceable grooves of "Runway D" and "Runway A," these seldom-traveled musical paths result in captivating experimentation. There is still more than enough trademark grinding electronic work present on "Runway E (1)" and "Runway H," while the closing dub wobble of "Runway N" may throw some for a loop.
Hill's live drumming is much more pronounced than on past releases, with his recognizable abrasive, hard-hitting play style shining through on "Runway E (1)" and "Runway W." The noticeable absence of MC Ride's commanding roar will no doubt be a point of accessibility for those just discovering the group's music, though it would be a welcome way to liven up some of the more drawn out, repetitive instrumental moments.
Some believe the record will serve as a soundtrack to an upcoming film by drummer Zack Hill, while others seem convinced that these might simply be a collection of unused instrumental fare. The release of Fashion Week still raises the question: Will Death Grips fully return to action in 2015? Whatever the answer may be, this eclectic, experimental crop of beats moves the mysterious group one step closer down the runway to their purported finale in style. (Third Worlds)