Death Grips - The Money Store (2012), 7/10

This brand of experimental hip-hop still sounds fresh and hard-hitting. Considering the blend of hip-hop, industrial noise and rock it is a surprisingly pop-sensible album that clearly has reached a wide audience. Whether you listen to rap, electronic, or rock music, there's something here that you will either appreciate as a music lover or fall for head over heels like many have among their fanbase. There's not a true miss on this entire album from start to finish, including the most experimental ideas, in fact the songs that use the most harsh and varied noise are the best showings. The opener "Get Got" is an electrifying and pleasingly accessible beginning to a record that rarely ebbs in vitality or punchy songwriting either in lyrics or instrumentals. Beyond its seemingly infinite energy, songs like “The Fever”, “I’ve Seen Footage”, and “The Cage” that excel in both sound and message rise above the rest to give it that extra nudge giving the album its staying power. It’s not just a great rap or electronic album, it has diffused potential that makes it special, and its accessibility outmatches any of their other work, giving it much wider appeal and influence than their contemporaries. It’s not very abrasive, more noisy than anything, and Ride’s unhinged vocals are aggressive yet also supremely focused, which again adds to its catchiness. There are better hip-hop albums and more interesting electronic experiments out there, but perhaps not a better blending of the two. It’s worth noting that my bias as a fan of Zach Hill in any project he touches, but he is surrounded by equally impressive individual talent in Andy and Ride that bring out the best in all three. There's rarely a more energizing record than The Money Store and it continues to carry significance in addition to its infectious sound.