Originality90
Lyrical Content65
Longevity60
Overall Impact80
Reader Rating1 Vote100
74
His say-it-like-it-is lyrics are refreshing when tackling the serious issues raised in his songs, he doesn’t need to use contrived metaphors to convey his relationship with mental health issues

Snot, earwax, faeces and other nauseating bodily fluids paint a vulgar picture for the concept of an album, but for King Krule – real name Archy Marshall – it was the “gunk” that we create subconsciously that inspired his most deeply personal album to date, ‘The Ooz’. Having released music under many aliases, the elusive 23-year-old returns as King Krule, heart on sleeve, ready to tell the world about his frustrations with failed relationships, loneliness, depression and a creative drought. 

This summer King Krule’s debut ‘6 Feet Beneath the Moon’ turned six, a body of work that earned him international critical acclaim and a megastar fanbase. With an endorsement on Beyonce’s blog Beyhive, it was only a matter of time before the biggest names in the industry came knocking. King Krule revealed that he turned down the opportunity to collaborate with Kanye West. “Anyone in my shoes would have done it. I couldn’t be bothered.” This wasn’t out of a “sense of superiority” but fear of “the pressure to create on call.” His bout of crippling writer’s block is a theme that runs deep in ‘Czech One’ on ‘The Ooz’. He sings “I need a place to write… but I found it hard to write” over a broken, solemn minor chords played on a piano. The slow pace of the track almost mimics the journey it took to re-ignite King Krule’s creative spark.

‘The Ooz’ also explores issues surrounding existential angst and mental health. ‘Slush Puppy’ is doused in gloomy distorted guitars featuring the lyrics “I’m worthless you see/Nothing’s working with me” in Marshall’s melancholic drawl. ‘Emergency Blimp’ picks up where ‘Slush Puppy’ left off, discussing the bravery of seeking medical help for depression. He sings, “but the Doctor said it’s cool just take these in the dead of night” touching on the notion that not enough is being done to protect mental health in young people. The track is one of the most guitar-heavy on the album.  

Lead single ‘Dum Surfer’ opens with a low humming bass guitar and a percussion section that sounds like clattering bones. This haunting score is emphasised by King Krule’s baritone, gravelly vocal. The song then infuses improvised jazz and clean rhythm guitars making it one of the most upbeat songs on the record. ’Half Man Half Shark’ also incorporates a funky beat that makes you want to get up and dance and later breaks down into an old skool Metronomy style synth bass riff intertwined with a tinkering piano. 

King Krule has developed as a song-writer, he’s added more layers to his artistry and included new influences of jazz, indie, hip-hop and punk. His say-it-like-it-is lyrics are refreshing when tackling the serious issues raised in his songs, he doesn’t need to use contrived metaphors to convey his relationship with mental health issues. ‘The Ooz’ won’t be to everyone’s taste; it’s refreshing yet bleak at the same time, but King Krule’s talent is undeniably raw and honest.

Track listing 

  1. Biscuit Town
  2. The Locomotive
  3. Dum Surfer
  4. Slush Puppy
  5. Bermondsey Bosom (Left)
  6. Logos
  7. Sublunary
  8. Lonely Blue
  9. Cadet Limbo
  10. Emergency Blimp
  11. Czech One
  12. A Slide In (New Drugs)
  13. Vidual
  14. Bermondsey Bosom (Right)
  15. Half Man Half Shark
  16. The Cadet Leaps
  17. The Ooz
  18. Mighnight 01 (Deep Sea Diving)
  19. La Lune

‘The Ooz’ is available via XL Recordings.

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