Another progression for an artist who was already way ahead of his years.
Label: XL Recordings / True Panther Sounds
Released: 13th October 2017
Archy Marshall was just 16 when he burst onto the scene under the moniker of Zoo Kid. A product of Brit School, the boy wonder sent the music press into a spin with his jazz-fused indie rock and desolate lyrics, all delivered with a snarl narkier than Kevin and Perry. His attitude resonated with a disenfranchised youth, particularly those living in London, and his debut LP as King Krule, 6 Feet Beneath The Moon, was met with critical acclaim upon its release in 2013.
Four years on, Marshall has reinvigorated King Krule for follow-up ‘The Ooz’ – a 19-track odyssey which deals with relationships, obsessions and our protagonist’s mental health. And Marshall, now aged 23, remains a raw, unflinching lyricist. “Why’d you leave me? Because of my depression? You used to complete me, but I guess I learnt a lesson,” he sighs on ‘Midnight 01 (Deep Sea Diver)’.
But it’s the subtlety on ‘The Ooz’ which sets it apart from this artist’s previous work. The sparse, beautiful arrangement of lead single ‘Czech One’ is one of the record’s highlights; jazz-tinged piano and saxophone bleed effortlessly to a dead-eyed drumbeat as Marshall notes how “tiny men have been absorbed for questioning the sky.”
While his musical ability has undoubtedly progressed in the four years since his debut, so too has Marshall’s vocal delivery. Unnerving yelps and sniggers often punctuate his songs. ‘Lonely Blue’ and the title-track are classic Krule, all reverb-heavy guitar, minimal production and tales of despair
The punk rock thrash of ‘Emergency Blimp’ injects energy to a largely subdued record, as do the brilliantly demonic ‘Dum Surfer’ and ‘Half Man Half Shark’, with its punchy guitar riff and scampering drums. It’s a sprawling, dense record and one which represents another progression for an artist who was already way ahead of his years. Alex Thorp