With a potent cocktail of righteous sonic rage, unpredictable manoeuvres, shadowy mystique and sticking it to The Man, US hardcore trio Death Grips have become a major cult concern, making it all the easier for them to hypnotise a capacity Barrowland crowd with a simple sequence of blinking blue lights and an anxiety-inducing oscillating drone broadcast as their intro tape before diving headlong into their set in front of an over-stimulated audience.
Death Grips, Barrowland, Gallowgate ****
In an age of increasingly sophisticated staging, Death Grips pared back the presentation while ramping up the intensity, and the results were uncompromising and invigorating.
The soundtrack, thrashed out on shrieking synths and simplistic drums with guttural utterances from the charismatic, shamanic figure of frontman MC Ride, was loud, driving, primitive and, if we were really lucky, punishing.
Crucially, there was grinding groove behind their white noise, with hints of tinny dub reverberations at some points.
Coupled with constant flashing lights in monochromatic patterns, one had to wonder if the primary influence on their live show was tried-and-tested torture techniques. But they were just warming up to a more dynamic second half.
About half an hour in, they hit an almost bubblegum garage rock beat before moving into a gruelling, heavy phase and then switching to nosebleed speed, all executed as one musical stream of consciousness without a second to take a breath. Then, after an hour, they abruptly downed tools and departed, with no communication, no encore and no frills, leaving their frazzled fans to spill out on to the street, dazed but exhilarated. - FIONA SHEPHERD