Thursday, November 14, 2013

Death Grips - Government Plates

Just when I had given up hope that Death Grips would release an album this year, BANG. Death Grips releases their new album for free on their website. This was one of those "music events" where everyone on the internet is listening to and talking about the same album at the same time, which rarely happens nowadays.

Bah. Internet. Back in my day, I had to walk two miles uphill to get to 
the record store only to find that the album was sold out!

Whether or not Death Grips was trying to bring the world together through noisy hip hop, I can't be certain. But I am absolutely certain that this album is astonishing. When Death Grips released the track "Birds" about a month ago, I was pretty impressed how Death Grips seems to constantly changing their sound while sounding like nothing but themselves. This album is full of strange samples, off-kilter beats, and bonkers atmospherics that are unlike anything I've ever heard... except for Death Grips.

If I were to give you an idea of what to expect, it sounds like they melted "Lord of the Game" and "5D" together and created an albums worth of variations on that feel. I also hear parts that remind me of the Hotline Miami soundtrack. The tracks I listed above are both from Exmilitary, and I feel this album is the closest cousin to that album in their growing discography.

The first track on the album has one of the greatest track titles in the history of music: "You might think he loves you for your money but I know what he really loves you for it's your brand new leopard skin pillbox hat". If you don't love the track already, give it a listen. This track is the most familiar sounding and makes for an excellent hype-as-fuck opener. But what makes this track so next-level to me is the snare roll crammed into the middle of the main bass riff. It takes it from groovy "hellz yeah" to "GET HYPE-AS-FUCK" in a millisecond.

One of my favorite elements on this album is the heavy use of vocal sampling. They have used this technique on all their releases, but on Government Plates, it has been turned up to an extreme level. The album also has a heavier EDM presence than on other Death Grips records. Put everything together and you have an insane, endlessly entertaining "I don't know what to do with my hands" album.

Do I dance? Do I play it cool? Do I punch the woman next to me?

Get noided, yall.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Swans - Not Here / Not Now

If you've learned anything from reading my blog, it's that I am obsessed with Swans. Well, they released a collection of live songs to raise money for their upcoming studio album, and my excitement level is through the roof. Not only because Swans will soon be recording their follow up to the excellent The Seer, but because the new songs on here are really good.

I went back and listened to We Rose from Your Bed with the Sun in Our Head (the live album released to raise money for the recording sessions that produced The Seer), and I reflected on how the already stellar performances became so much more once they were given additional instrumentation and structure. I can only imagine how amazing the songs on Not Here / Not Now are going to sound with 100% more dulcimer.

In addition to all of the new songs, there is a rehash of an older song, "Coward", that is jaw-dropping. I didn't think it was possible to get any better than the version on Public Castration is a Good Idea, but this version takes the cake.

Listen below. And remember, it's just a song. It can't really hurt you.

Swans - Coward