As far as the argument over whether Death Grips are indie rap's great, destructive Dada Art crew or whether they are just the genre's Spinal Tap, the excellent No Love Deep Web suggests they're the sophisticated former, even when the album's title is written on an erect penis for all the world to see. Slip the official physical release out of its porno-concealing black slipcover and that phallic photograph stands loud, proud, and unavoidable; plus the album's back story is just as big, seeing as how it was originally recorded for Epic but then released by the band in a last minute, free-to-download format, earning the group their major-label walking papers and whole bunch of legal threats. The album-as-revolutionary-object indeed, and yet the opening, "Come Up and Get Me," is a laser-focused song with a surprising subject: paranoia. The track puts the listener in that zone with a minimal drum machine, an eye-level view of a room with "no daylight, or midnight," and questions like "Who's my enemy?/Them or me?" It's a meatier moment than the shocking cover art, and it is followed by the most accessible Death Grips song to date, "Lil Boy," a hooky bit of cut-up of electro and house music that still maintains the group's love of all things skittish. "Hunger Games" walks past the marquee of a blockbuster movie while suffering "a mental health glitch," while "Pop" chucks the band's previous Bad Brains-influenced style for production informed by golden-age Sega games along with Giorgio Moroder's future disco. All of them offer new flavors of Death Grips cool that willfully attract rather than repel. The hiccuping "Whammy" curses devils in a scattershot Lee "Scratch" Perry style, and yet it's of this earth enough to mention Prada, and as the closing "Artificial Death in the West" glides over a computer-generated landscape that's begun to malfunction, vocalist Stefan Burnett's strange incantations are multi-tracked, manipulated, and echoed -- production moves that will be quite comfortable for anyone who has experienced some Radiohead, Rihanna, or Rush. None of this explains the penis on the cover, but there's the Death Grips you talk about and the Death Grips you listen to, so focus on the latter and the well-crafted release becomes vital.
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AllMusic Review by David Jeffries