22 Oct 2017

King Krule - The OOZ (album review)

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2013’s 6 Feet Beneath the Moon is a minimalistic sonic depiction of the darkened streets of South London. The project is a less eroded version of the demo quality material previously performed under his Zoo Kid guise. Although presenting some innovative guitar work and interesting fusion with alternative R&B, ultimately the album came off as tediously mellow. In fact with the exception of the tracks A Lizard State and Easy Easy, the record plods along at the pace of a garden snail.

A New Place 2 Drown is King Krule’s venture into lo-fi hip hop. Released simply under the name “Archy Marshall” the synthetic instrumentation does more to compliment the groans and growls he spits over the beats creating the essence of a steamy hotboxed teenage bedroom.
It’s easy to dismiss Marshall as quite loathsome, the trite stereotypical stoner attitude he presents makes the eyes roll. Marshall turned down the opportunity to work with Kanye West recently simply stating he “couldn't be bothered”. This summarises the persona he presents and it often bleeds into his musical output.
Although his first two albums have their moments, they are ultimately set back by Marshall’s lyrical content. Littered with lethargic mumblings like “She writes to me but does not come abroad that’s why I guess she can't be my broad” and the borderline problematic “You're a bunch of fucking fat bitches, fucking fat bitches”.

The lyrical holes that cluster around Archy Marshall’s discography loom ever present on his latest effort, The OOZ. In fact, it’s almost ironic that he opens with the line “I seem to sing lower” as opener Biscuit Town’s gorgeous piano lick is burdened with lines like “Fuck, that's Coca-Cola, as TV sports the Olympic ebola’ and “Whilst you orbit with some stupider hoes”.

Throughout the OOZ King Krule is infatuated with rhyme repetition which I will now illustrate with three examples...

Biscuit Town Verse 1: "solar, over, KA Soda, ebola, bipolar, Moterola Franco Zola, over”.

Drum Surfer: "Cash, slash, trash, mash, stash, back, mashed, that, mashed, slash, sat, that, slabs, lab, crashed, cab, mash, crashed, hash."

Logos Verse 2: "folds, poles, holds, soul, home, stroll, prole, whole, charcoal, intervals, logo, cold, arose, whole."

Krule’s choice of words is all too symptomatic of the one-dimensional persona he puts across in his music. Yet for its multitude of flaws The OOZ is still not a bad record, in fact, it more than makes up for the lyrical shortcomings with the phantasmagorical world it creates. The ambiance of these spectral environments is built with four main instrumental component: electric keyboards, jazz guitar, drum machine loops and horn sections each element taking forefront at given moments throughout the track list.

Flowing effortlessly from track to track, often climaxing with either gut-wrenching moans or sax solos. It’s hard to not find at least something to like about The OOZ regardless on your opinion on its creator.


(Words: Aimee Armstrong)