Death Grips Lives On
Thom Behrens | Thursday, January 15, 2015
The reason for utilizing the past perfect above being that on July 2, 2014, Death Grips uploaded their breakup announcement to their Facebook page in the form of a picture of a note written on a napkin. This announcement came nearly a month after the release of their double-album “The Powers That B,” the first disc entitled “N****s on the Moon,” which features extraordinarily eerie chopped vocal samples of Icelandic singer-songwriter Björk on all eight tracks. The note detailed that the full album would be delivered later in 2014 via the band’s own Third Worlds Records, through which the group has been releasing music after being dropped by Epic Records for releasing their album on their website and through several file-sharing services and releasing private emails on their Facebook page. On Oct. 10 of last year, Death Grips released the album artwork for “The Powers That B,” along with the announcement that the album was finished. The second half of the double-album is called “Jenny Death” and has not yet been released.
“Inanimate Sensation,” a single off “Jenny Death” was released Dec. 9 along with its music video on YouTube. The song features much stronger rhythmic singularity and forward thrust than any of the group’s work to date, while still retaining all of the energy and vocal intensity of their previous albums. The song features an extended ensnaring hook, which pulls the listener down a humming, accelerating NASCAR track that ends at a banner extending a warm “welcome to hell.” It is clear on this track that Death Grips has lost no innovative passion or motivation for sonic perfection in their breakup — they continue to impress even from the grave.
And on Jan. 4, the band released a 14-track instrumental soundtrack entitled “Fashion Week.” An interesting art in and of itself, the soundtrack has also been taken (by this writer, at least) as a clue as to the release date of “Jenny Death,” which still remains officially unannounced. The songs on the album are uniformly named “Runway J”, “Runway E”, “Runway N”, etc., and concatenating the last letters of each song delivers the phrase “JENNY DEATH WHEN.” This allusion to the album suggests the impending release of “Jenny Death,” possibly at the beginning of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York, which starts Feb. 12. And although the band (which has traditionally shirked interviews and publicly encouraged commentary on their music and methods) has not confirmed or denied any hypothesized release dates, several music vendors list the release date for the physical CD to be Feb. 10, the Saturday before Fashion Week starts.