Death Grips Throw Us 'Birds,' Their Antisocial First Song Since Lollapalooza No-Show

Noise-rap provocateurs repeat "fuck you" over jarring abstraction

Death Grips,
Death Grips' Stefan Burnett spreads his wings Photo by Karl Walter/Getty Images for Coachella
Marc Hogan WRITTEN BY
Marc Hogan

Death Grips, SPIN's 2012 Artist of the Year, aren't finished messing with their audience. The recently major label re-affiliated rap racketmakers missed Lollapalooza and other shows last month in what looks likely to go down as some kind of experimental art piece (a suicide note was involved). Last night they shared their first new track since all the publicity, "Birds," and it's no more easily ingratiating.

Bleary synth passages alternate with ominously chiming guitars, backed by Zach Hill's ever-proficient live drumming, and the main themes from the lyrics — posted in full over on Facebook — are an unwholesome sort of defiance: drinking bleach, a "fuck you" here and there, and references to putting "something between your legs" en route to mentions of graves and Jesus. Before the final chorus, there's this: "I got higher / I got fake / I got / Birds." In the words of Pond's Nick Allbrook, "Their aggression and energy is so much more pure than I could ever hope to achieve." Tell you this much: They don't live for your applause, plause, plause.

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