|Add Date:||2017-11-19|| ||Pull Date:||2018-01-21|| |
|Week Ending:||14 Jan||24 Dec||17 Dec||3 Dec||26 Nov|
I don’t know how to describe what kind of music King Krule—the best-known nom de musique of Archy Marshall—makes. The Wikipedia page for The Ooz has it under four different genres: “indie rock,” “punk jazz,” “post-punk,” and “trip hop,” none of which are a perfect fit with each other or even on their own. The Ooz is a much stranger trip than King Krule’s 2013 debut, 6 Feet Beneath the Moon, suitable for various states of intoxication and isolation. These songs feel less like songs and more like pieces of a larger sonic environment that Marshall—a misanthropic, insomniac narrator—slithers through, repeating lyrical themes and musical motifs. This often works against the album; I’ve listened to it several times now and I still can’t tell about half the songs apart. That said, the highlights on this album are excellent. (Note: A lot of the songs segue into each other or end abruptly, so keep your eye on the time and end a few seconds early.)|
FCCs: 1, 3
Favorites: 6, 10, 11, 13, 15
1) “Biscuit Town” (3:42) – FCC “f***.” Trip-hop production, jazzy guitar that sounds like a keyboard (perhaps vice versa), brisk drumbeat. A great tune that can’t be played because of the FCC violation.
2) “The Locomotive” (2:52) – A brooding song with some smothering guitar chords. Slow, but it lurches forward about every 20 seconds after the first minute. Marshall alternates between mumbled singing and ghoulish shouting.
3) “Dum Surfer” (4:23) – FCC “f***.” A pretty straightforward song with braying sax and a noodling guitar solo in the middle. It’s probably the best song on the album, and if it weren’t for the bad word I’d tell you to play this track hourly.
4) “Slush Puppy” (2:43) – A slow, waltzing number with some atmospheric sound effects and a guest vocalist dominating the first half. Marshall comes in a little before the halfway point. The song grows louder and more unhinged in the last minute.
5) “Bermondsey Bosom (Left)” (1:15) – A moody ambient interlude with a poem spoken in Spanish. (In case you’re wondering, the poem doesn’t include any Spanish profanities.)
6) “Logos” (3:50)* – An instrumentally simple track with a subtle drum machine, queasy keyboards, and a mournful sax. The last minute has a warmer and fuller sound. Unlike the three tracks that follow, this song doesn’t overstay its welcome or lose its form.
7) “Sublunary” (2:10) – This one’s really just an extended sax solo with a repeated lyric. There’s not really a shape to this song, so I’d advise skipping it.
8) “Lonely Blue” (4:45) – A slow, drifting number with some spacey echoes of guitar. The song ends abruptly, about a minute later than it should.
9) “Cadet Limbo” (4:53) – Basically, same as above. The last half of the song is instrumental, with a piano solo weaving in and out of some saxophones—so it’s at least an improvement over its predecessor.
10) “Emergency Blimp” (2:54)* – A guitar-driven song that sounds almost like slacker punk. Marshall sings about taking pills for his insomnia. No, he doesn’t drop a racial slur—Marshall says “sniggered” in the chorus. (Why does that word exist?) Killer guitar solo.
11) “Czech One” (4:15)* – A dreamy number that sounds like ambient pop. Piano and sax enter in the second half of the song, which is probably the closet Marshall has come to singing a lullaby.
12) “A Slide In (New Drugs)” (3:06) – A song with—for the most part—soft, lo-fi guitar playing and clear vocals about being an outcast. Watch out around the two-minute mark, when the guitar feedback starts to rip the song into pieces before ending abruptly.
13) “Vidual” (2:20)* – A quick-moving song with spidery lines of guitar and some of Marshall’s most threatening vocals. It sounds like he’s going to shank the listener before the end of the song.
14) “Bermondsey Bosom (Right)” (1:06) – An alternate version of track #5, with the poem in English and different instrumentation. I wonder if you could play both at once?
15) “Half Man Half Shark” (5:02)* – A driving, almost militaristic drumbeat powers this song and its dense thicket of squealing sax playing and funky bassline. If more songs on the album were like this, it’d be an album-of-the-year contender for me.
16) “The Cadet Leaps” (4:21) – This song sounds like King Krule’s idea of an intergalactic pleasure cruise. It’s a twinkling mostly-instrumental that even features the same poem from the “Bermondsey Bosom” interludes, albeit in Tagalog.
17) “The Ooz” (4:36) – The title track is another laid-back and spacey number that features a circular, repeated guitar riff. Feedback gradually builds in intensity as the song goes on, as do Marshall’s vocals, before pulling back and ending the song on a quiet note.
18) “Midnight 01 (Deep Sea Diver)” (3:54) – One of the album’s jazzier outings, in between the drumbeat and the guitar playing. But really, I can only write “laid-back and spacey number” so many different ways before I’m just repeating myself, as Marshall is on this song.
19) “La Lune” (4:17) – Guess what? It’s another laid-back and spacey number. There’s more than enough of these on this album. Why don’t you go play one of the favorites?