After a seemingly never-ending onslaught of strange, ambiguous singles, infamous experimental hip-hop trio Death Grips have released their new beast unto the world. Ominously titled Year of the Snitch and accompanied by its frankly disgusting album artwork, the record proves to be immediately unsettling; the music itself is, unsurprisingly, not much tamer. However, what is surprising is how genuinely baffling and unpredictable Year of the Snitch is throughout its 37-minute runtime, especially compared to the group’s last record, Bottomless Pit. Even more surprising is that, despite its immediate strangeness, the album ranks among Death Grips’ greatest work to date; it just takes time to digest.
The album bears similarity to 2014’s Government Plates regarding its structure – many of the songs, too, sound somewhat similar to ‘Birds’, one of the stranger tracks on that previous album. However, Year of the Snitch effortlessly implements many different sounds and styles that the group have previously touched upon into a mesmerisingly cohesive record. This is exemplified on tracks such as ‘Flies’ and ‘Black Paint’, two wildly different songs that seamlessly blend into each other. Tracks such as the opener, ‘Death Grips Is Online’, ‘Linda’s In Custody’, and ‘Streaky’, provide moments of lowkey jilted intensity, while others such as ‘Black Paint’, ‘Shitshow’, and ‘Disappointed’ stand as some of Death Grips’ most wildly aggressive songs in their discography.
While it may seem underwhelming or unlistenable at first, give it a chance to sink in and Year of the Snitch is one of the most exciting albums of 2018 so far.