Album Review: Year of the Snitch by Death Grips

The experimental trio’s newest project does not skip over the usual angry, paranoia filled subject matter except this time implements a twist of psychedelia that isn’t anything like what most fans expected. Death Grips’ discography is nothing short of chaos that we all love to examine and this album won’t be any different in that sense. However, Year of the Snitch is able to show Death Grips’ versatility by bringing light of their lesser known members, Andy Morin and Zach Hill. That’s not to say they haven’t made the same or more contribution on previous works, but I think we can all agree it’s a lot easier to hear when Stefan isn’t screaming at the top of his lungs!

Very similar to their past work, YOTS starts with three unforgettable tracks that contain a little bit for music lovers of all genres to enjoy. The upbeat nature of “Death Grips is Online” literally sounds like a Satanic rave with a fast paced break towards the end where DJ Swamp lets loose with scratches. Ride comes in with this monotonous (but driven) flow on every verse and I can’t help but dance like a pendulum, moving from side to side. “The Horn Section” and “Disappointed” are both tracks that shine around drummer Zach Hill. Both primarily consist of Hill playing six-lets throughout but the energies come across completely different. The first includes offbeat keyboards and in my opinion serves as an interlude while the latter has Ride screaming ‘WHY ME’ hysterically and Hill playing a few drum licks. Finally, “Hahaha” shows Hill and Andy’s ability as producers to the max. This psychedelic track features a few self-sampled songs such as “Lock Your Doors” and “Up My Sleeves”. At first, the chorus may seem completely random in relation to the rest of the song, but once you embrace the super warped background sounds that Hill implemented, it will feel as if the chorus is the climax on this crazy rollercoaster ride. Of course, let’s not forget Ride’s hilarious quotable “Ha-ha-ha b****!”

There’s a few tracks on here that wouldn’t nearly do justice to describe by words, such as the intensity brought by the banger “Black Paint” and the literal shitshow that is “Shitshow”. Nonetheless, it’s interesting to see Death Grips take such a peculiar route with this album. The 13 tracks do a great job amplifying each member’s role in the group. Ride’s intense but cryptic verses, Hill’s perfectly placed fills, and Morin’s unorthodox sound effects all come together to make a very enjoyable listen.

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