The sixth album from noise-punk-rap cyber-transgressives Death Grips is one of their least aggressive offerings to date, but still quite disruptive. Special guest DJ Swamp, the enfant terrible of the Nineties turntablism boom, is almost like a fourth member of the band, squiggling and squarking all over Year of the Snitch. A glitch in the system, Swamp furiously cuts up old Death Grips songs, making one of the most Internet-funhouse-mirror bands of all time reflect back on itself.
MC Ride increasingly tempers his shouts with steely-eyed speak, creating a post-internet buzzword slam poetry that’s mostly impenetrable but still decidedly contemporary. Lines like “Necro Winnebago, worship on shroom in safe zones” (“Flies”), “Tell the princess eat shit and die – ownage” (“Ha Ha Ha”), a title like “Death Grips is Online” or even a guest spoken word into from Shrek director Andrew Adamson, spit our memes, buzzwords and Internet obsessions back to us like Black Flag gone Black Mirror.
Fans of Zach Hill’s early-2000s prog-splatter band Hella will enjoy the clearest and most acoustic sounding drums to appear on any Death Grips release to date. The most visceral tune may be the agoraphobia slam of “Black Paint,” but the most interesting development is album’s closer “Disappointed,” which sounds like the hocketing of Dirty Projectors interpreted by a hardcore band.