Album Review: Death Grips’ ‘Bottomless Pit’
Written by Tyler Thompson on May 20, 2016
A look at the new album from the obscure rapper Death Grips
Album Bottomless Pitt
Artist: Death Grips
Label: Third Worlds and Harvest Records
photo courtesy of hiphopstoners.com
Friday tends to be my favorite day of the week, as it is for most spelling the end of the school/work grind. However, Friday’s are special to me because of the slew of new music that drops at midnight. So like any other Friday night, I retreated to the basement of my house with my UE Megaboom in hand, sat down on the couch and started exploring the new offers that the music industry gifted us. Immediately I was drawn to the Frank Ocean inspired album by James Blake, The Colour in Anything, followed by the hip-hop electronic styles of Kaytranada’s 99.9% LP and finally to Radiohead’s comeback album True Love Waits. While all three albums provided sheer joy, it was the fourth LP I listened to that provided me with the most shock and satisfaction; Death Grips’ Bottomless Pit.
Death Grips is considered an experimental hip-hop band and is also referred to as a noise punk rap group by Chris Payne at Billboard.com and Christopher R. Weingarten at Spin.com. The style and sound of Death Grips is thunderous and epitomizes heavy instrumentals and sharp vocals that pound on your eardrums that vibrates into your brain.
Right from the get-go, Bottomless Pit opens up with a tone setter in “Giving Bad People Good Ideas.” An unknown female vocalist opens up the track by chanting “I keep giving bad people good ideas” which refrains then immediately transitions into rattling drums, shrieking synths and heavy guitar riffs/baselines, all commandeered by the shouting vocals of Death Grips front man, Stefan Burnett known by his stage name, MC Ride. The track epitomizes the noise thrashing style that the collective is known for; it’s the kind of track that makes you want to jump into the middle of a mosh pit and completely lose yourself.
The bustling sound from “Giving Bad People Good Ideas” trickles down throughout the entire LP. The production is crystal and the sound works like a wave through each track. The third track on the album “Spikes” is a beautiful example of these waves as the synths flow from hurricane levels to quick ripples while the chorus finds Ride chanting “Spikes, spikes, spikes.” The lyrics throughout “Spikes” are enveloped in rage and aggression; “Tall knives in my grill feel potent/My jigsaw manipulates you open/My skids rit rubbernecks agent orange/I skid like I’m no use.”
The meshing of genres is second nature for Death Grips even finding pop laden styles alongside the commonly found industrial sounds in the LP. The opening to track 11 “Ring a Bell” is equipped with head banging synths as it makes its way to the chorus where the beat switches gears to a slower dance/pop beat. Ride then raps about a girl begging for Death Grips, “She’s so, she’s so/Beat thirsty, thought I heard a mosquito/She know we know/But her vox so desert and our beats so dro”.
Death Grips Bottomless Pitt is a cerebral experience. It’s the kind of LP that exudes energy and fearless aggression. The brazen lyrics are married perfectly with the energetic instrumentals creating a unique experience that truly stands on its own. So if you need an LP to pump you up for a lift, your shift at work, a test or if you’re just pissed off and need something to reciprocate your rage, Bottomless Pitt is the fix you seek.
1. Giving Bad People Good Ideas
2. Hot Head
6. Bubbles Buried In This Jungle
9. BB Poison
10. Three Bedrooms In A Good Neighborhood
11. Ring A Bell
13. Bottomless Pitt