DEATH GRIPS, CITIES AVIV
Maybe you've heard of Death Grips. The Sacramento subversives recently gave one of the best "fuck offs" to a label ever, making themselves the iconoclastic art-rap heroes of the year. Their self-released 2011 debut mixtape, Exmilitary, and subsequent releases The Money Store (Epic Records) and No Love Deep Web sound like exports from a hyper-avant underworld where Stefan "MC Ride" Burnett and drummer Zach Hill call the tormented, art-driven shots. Hill builds electronic drum trenches that spring from nowhere and shift unpredictably, ensnaring you when you least expect, while Burnett bludgeons you with fire bellows. Now, The Death Grips Story™...
On October 1, the album No Love Deep Web was self-released for the world to hear ahead of their label, Epic Records, which was planning on releasing it "sometime next year," according to the band. Interpreting this timeline as declining interest from the label, Death Grips felt a power struggle and so turned to Magic: The Gathering for answers. They found the Control deck, which Hill says "is the shit because you un-summon people's magic by using their own magic against them... it creates a chaos element." Death Grips' next step was to burn through their advance budget from Epic with a two-month stay at Hollywood palace Chateau Marmont, where they also leaked No Love Deep Web and Burnett created the NSFW album art: a bathroom pic of an erect penis.
Their next move was to post confidential e-mails from Epic about the leak on their Facebook page. With that successfully freeing them from their contract and putting them in Control, the band tried to disappear, deleting their Twitter account (which they used to cancel a fully booked tour last May) and avoiding the press. But whether you think Death Grips are punk-rock demigods of the internet age, exploiting the major label as a dying industry model, or just fame-addled tantrum-havers, the music they create is far more aggressively weird than any publicity stunt or art-fueled rebellion they could conjure. Death Grips are a megalo-mindfuck of controlled chaos and are not to be missed. Crocodile, 8 pm, $15.