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Death Grips – Inanimate Sensation

The allure of Death Grips stems from the fact that their music, especially new songs immediately upon release, sound like nothing released before, and yet they’re all hidden under a veil of similar pretenses. Their first single off Jenny Death, the 2nd half of their final album The Powers That Be, is a wild ride filled with a constant uneasiness that would make “Birds” seem trivial. As a revving engine of rising vocal distortions kick off “Inanimate Sensation”, classic, yet oddly simple, Zach Hill drums take over, highly reminiscent of The Money Store, the band’s most accessible album. But just as one begins to feel comfortable the bass and beat drop out, a commonality by song’s end. See, what the track accomplishes best is the fluid distinction between Ride’s tension-building lyrics and cadences, and the classic Death Grips flair for catchiness. It’s either been one or the other, but here they mold them together.

There’s times when MC Ride is hollering like his chaotic self, with lyrics entirely indistinguishable, while there’s other moments of the rapper whispering, eerily, unnerved, before a secondary verse sees his voice malfunctioning, gravely, and demon-ish. These moments of hectic pandemonium are circumvented by intersecting instrumental interludes that creek, blast, stutter, and gravitate towards anonymity, unrecognizable to anything surrounding them. ‘Inanimate Sensation’ plays this twisted game of never staying stagnant, never knowing what’s to come next, with lyrics that, upon looking them up, seem as dense as the most hard-to-understand messages found on their previous efforts.

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