The OOZ is Archy Marshall’s, AKA King Krule’s, third album which recently has been put out on the True Panther Sounds label. On The OOZ King Krule again finds a nice balance between the elements of punk, jazz, darkwave and trip hop.
As we know from 6 Feet Beneath the Moon (2013) and A New Place 2 Drown (2015) Krule still owns one of the most distinct voices in today’s music. He’s fragile like Devendra Banhart, rugged like Tricky, shabby like Mac DeMarco and adds his own dark hurtful baritone to the tombola. Listening to King Krule is like being in the gutter with an alcohol breath that isn’t going away anytime soon. On the album’s opener, ‘Biscuit Town’, King Krule openly wonders if there is way out of the gutter. He rap-sings about being Gianfranco Zola, a former Italian Chelsea football player, but realizes he is going nowhere with his life. With 23 years old he throws in the towel: “For at least for now, it’s all over“.
During the tracks that follow King Krule deepens the dystopian atmosphere by varying cocky dance numbers with dirt-under-your-fingernails british hip hop and slackerish dark pop. Tracks like ‘Half Man Half Shark’ could be squatter party material while ‘Slush Puppy’ or ‘Logos’ are made for those lazy hangover mondays. Krule’s voice however always is the main attraction. With it, he commands the album’s tempo. Sometimes he elegantly sweeps on one track while on other tracks his voice is set to be frantically uptight. And so The OOZ twists and turns from beat-filled sweaty dancefloors to boozed up after hour jazz clubs with a redhead, half drunk, skinny youngster wearing a crown in the midst of both establishments.
On the album’s lead single ‘Dum Surfer’ Krule displays his love for punk rock but replaces the hooks with his punishing voice stigmatizing himself as the king of a confused generation: “From a set of habits, I can see momentums mashed. If we were commuting, this train would fucking crash. Now my brain’s diluting with blame and guilt and hash. Getting lashed, getting lashed by all of the gods”. This vibe continues on tracks like ‘Czech One’, ‘Midnight 01 (Deep Sea Diver)’ and ‘Vidual’. Especially on the latter Krule’s imagery is violently sour.
For some 19 tracks of wandering through a dystopian South London could be to much of a good thing. I for one like The OOZ from the head to the tail. Archy Marshall has never been so confident in being so casually dark. Be sure to expect the finger from Marshall if you say you don’t like his latest. If you do get one, you’d better be wise and understand that as a compliment. Today’s youth therefore does not seem so lost to me. With The OOZ Marshall slowly turns the page on slackerism and sets a prime example for a new multi-genre by mashing up some niche genres from the 90ties with pieces of punk, hip hop and jazz.
Label: True Panther Sounds/XL Recordings, 2017
- Biscuit Town (3:42)
- The Locomotive (2:51)
- Dum Surfer (4:23)
- Slush Puppy (2:42)
- Bermondsey Bosom (Left) (1:14)
- Logos (3:50)
- Sublunary (2:10)
- Lonely Blue (4:44)
- Cadet Limbo (4:52)
- Emergency Blimp (2:54)
- Czech One (4:15)
- A Slide In (New Drugs) (3:05)
- Vidual (2:19)
- Bermondsey Bosom (Right) (1:05)
- Half Man Half Shark (5:02)
- The Cadet Leaps (4:21)
- The OOZ (4:35)
- Midnight 01 (Deep Sea Diver) (3:53)
- La Lune (4:17)
Review by Wander Meulemans // 301017