Death Grips – Niggas on the Moon Death Grips – Niggas on the Moon

Death Grips - Niggas on the Moon (2014)

Death Grips – Niggas on the Moon (2014)

Death Grips is dead and Niggas on the Moon is the “band’s” (quotation marks taken from Death Grip’s Facebook annihilation napkin statement) first pass on impressing their eulogy on art, time and the maddened zipgun massive. A wantonly irritable catalog of prickling, debilitated soundscapes released freely a few short weeks before they went self-destruct, the record mumbled an exaggerated animal buzz on its appearance, for featuring Bjork on each of its eight tracks.

And yes, she’s there. In fact, I’d dare say she is the most integral aspect to the first stage of this impresario endgame (Niggas on the Moon will meet Jenny Death as a dual exchange called the Powers that B, eventually) as her bleats and wails and wings, unfurled, chopped, screwed, degraded, rerereappropriated and savagely repurposed provide the foundation on which much of Niggas on the Moon is laid.

She is the outsized beat cum sampled queen. The pulsing, pinching, panicky pulse that crescendos the nervous circuitry that defines Niggas on the Moon as something almost wholly (sonically) different from the rest of Death Grips – admittedly – impressive discography.

And it’s goddamn awful, really. Off balance and out of place. A petty, frothing pace of techno cracks and joyless winks stomped under bourgeois sweathogs spitting cryptic nihilistic bullshit while the rat king whips his way through the discotheque, high as fuck and wholly heartless.

That isn’t to say the record exists without moments of sinister brilliance. Or moment, rather. Opener “Up My Sleeves” is one savage fucking beast that saddles Death Grip’s canon with a fine displeasure but from there the record devolves into nonsense masquerading artistry. That’s a lie. Niggas on the Moon has many moments of note but they come buried, staccato track by track, verse by periodic verse under the incessant, referential cacophony of Bjork’s feature.

Fucking Bjork.

It’s not her fault, I know but the overbearing nature of her use is maddening well past the point of panic attack. Like mockingbird laughter jacked up on paint thinner and mescaline, hammered through humor and curio like the great Kaufman cancer joke* upsetting rhyme and reason for the sake of self-satisfaction that was the joke of Death Grips from their inception.

Maybe Jenny Death will help make sense of it.


But do you ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?

Niggas on the Moon Tracklist:

01 Up My Sleeves
02 Billy Not Really
03 Black Quarterback
04 Say Hey Kid
05 Have a Sad Cum
06 Fuck Me Out
07 Viola
08 Big Dipper


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