"Let others bemoan the maliciousness of their age. What irks me is its pettiness, for ours is an age without passion" - Kierkegaard

For us to communicate with each other at all, we must first submit ourselves to the established norms and practises of social interaction. If we use clearly defined reference points we can hopefully end up with some kind of common understanding. If we are to empathise with each other, we must first listen to each other. We must first, at least, be prepared to listen to each other. Most misunderstandings and their subsequent interpersonal problems stem from either ignorance of, or non-adherence to, these basic principles. So let us be clear from the start.

This is a review of the album Government Plates by the band Death Grips.

Death Grips make hyper-real psycho-delic punk music. It will not appeal to everyone. Which should explain the disclaimer. It is bleak. It is discordant, and it is primal. A lot of people won't make it 30 seconds into the first song without turning off and clicking something else.

I guess I'm writing to you guys.

In his book 'The Revolution Of Everyday Life' Raoul Vaneigem said that "Those who succumb to the magnetic attraction exercised by the huge Kafkaesque cybernetic machine are nicely divided from those who follow their own impulses and try to escape from it." Which seems to describe rather succinctly how people feel about Death Grips and the Death Grips mindset. Because there is a definite mindset that you find yourself falling into whenever you listen to their music. A mindset that appeals to some but violently repels others.

You can sketch a rough dividing line between the two using the Edward Snowden / NSA spying affair. An event which has seemingly used steel toe capped boots to stamp itself indelibly into the heart of this record. There are those that think "those motherfuckers tapped my phone" and those that think "I have nothing to hide, so who cares."

For the first group, listening to Death Grips probably feels a lot like the feeling you get from watching rolling 24 hour news stations for too long. The crushing inevitability of all of the things you cannot control. The meaningless words from lying politicians, and the open agenda of infinite greed, motivating the corporations that buy them. The many levels of hopelessness that we are forced to operate under. The urgency of constant happenings blasted at us daily. Permanently on the brink of wide eyed disbelief. Shocked, and in awe. Unwittingly, a part of what Chomsky called "the bewildered herd." Our place and our role in this society, over time, has become subtly defined by mass media voices. We have been weathered like rocks on the beach.

Listening to Death Grips makes you want to scream against it all. The absurdity, the paranoia, the nausea. Screaming in the face of our own futility. For once, we are not being patronised by an illusion of potential change, but empowered by the feeling of 'fuck you'. At times that approach becomes challenging, perhaps atonal, but you are always being inspired to react. To feel something, anything. Throughout their short yet accomplished career they have constantly pushed buttons. An adrenaline filled kick in the face for people who forget they're alive. Who forgot they have the power to choose.

Death Grips are punk as fuck in that regard. Their attitude, their approach to music and its industry, is both revolutionary and well documented. In these days of corporate sponsored lifestyle choices and online petitions as rebellion, where the last alternative scene to be born from ideas of freedom has fully grown, into simple fashion choice cliques with guidebooks, which mean nothing more than a name in the playground, Death Grips mean something. Right now they feel vital, not by offering us false hope, but with their whole hearted rejection of the norms.

For the second group, listening to Death Grips is not just uncomfortable, it is painful and therefore not worth the effort. The noise requires no motive, no explanations, it is just noise to be switched off. Sure, Government Plates, more so than any of their other records, is full on mania, but it's a reflection of the society it is born into. You have to actually listen to it to realise that Zach Hill's drums are pushed further to front of house than ever. Making the songs shift wildly between tempos, finding rhythms that are almost impossible to grasp, but also finding grooves that could break your neck. You have to listen to hear the increasing influence of free party drum and bass on their sound; wild and free and flailing, yet still discordant as ever.

Death Grips are more than a band, they are a mindset, they are a considered middle finger raised at anyone seeking dominance over the sovereign state of you. Because you have a choice, in everything, you can say no. You can say fuck this, fuck you, fuck everything if you want to. But you have to listen, you have to be prepared to listen, to understand any view that opposes your own. If you can understand the motive, where it was born from, then it might just be the most freeing and rewarding thing that could happen to you.