Saturday, 31 August 2013

Review // King Krule- '6 Feet Beneath The Moon'

I've had the best August, Beacons was fabulous, hitting the big 2-1 in London was fun and reuniting with the Crisp Collab for bank holiday was also commendable. I'm surrounded by amazing people and have never felt so lucky in my life. Cringe, let's not get deep on a Saturday, now. Regardless, King Krule also turned nineteen last week when his debut '6 Feet Beneath The Moon' was released- shoutout to the Virgos'! It is beautiful and the first time I heard 'Neptune Estate' I burst out crying, just imagine someone writing that about you. IMAGINE. Regardless, make some brunch and put the needle on it as you read my review below.
King Krule- '6 Feet Beneath The Moon'
How does an apparent talent aged just sixteen, three years on from the tirade of acclaimed whispers, internet dissection, speculation and a handful of material that got the underbelly of the music industry tingling so rapidly, manage to not only regulate relevance but outspread its interested audience? Archy Mashall may now be older and wiser as ‘6 Feet Beneath The Moon’ is released on his nineteenth birthday and we know that façade was never going to be a factor within his work, what you see is what you get and his long-awaited debut release may be accurately what we estimated- ragged London drawl and all- yet what captures the listener that may not have been noted previously, is to what commendable level of conviction Marshall has held on to, sure to not compromise his ideas over to a reality. Stimulating art should make you feel something, whether you want to or not and Marshall’s fourteen-track journey doesn't just take you along for his expedition of turmoil and tension but instills his pain and sentiment into the listener, likewise.
‘Can’t you bear just one more night?’ Krule questions upon ‘Neptune Estate’, no-frills attached, as spits of ‘I wanna be with you/ I wanna be used’, present themselves as the desperate scraps of holding onto a relationship turned distinctively sour, yet he manages to execute this with a clerical element of elegance, as guitar lines boing underneath tender drum beats that would certainly sound something of an intergalactic nature, if it were not for the muffled distortions of his poignant requests. Oh, and the horns. The horns that you forget are even there until they creep into a brazen, sonic wave, making your guts twist with empathy and restlessness. ‘Neptune Estate’ puts you right in the shoes of its writer, exactly where most artists avoid; that bit in love once the rose-tinted glasses have come off with all cards on the table and no more bets, please, that despite its uncomfortability gives a sense of a soothing, almost soul-cleansing practice... and his best work to date hands-down.
From empathy and relation, the off-beat syncopation of ‘Has This Hit?’ takes his theme of loss to more abrasive levels, as corrugated cymbals and off-kilter vocal delivery snarl throughout to tell a tale of hurt at an explosive level. ‘Well my guts are on the floor/ For you to adore me’ reaffirm the sense of romanticism that underpins, as his beats get more melodic rather than sharpening throughout, however his problems, similarly, continue on. Take for example ‘Border Line’, with it’s faux-sunshine-feel of tip-toe’ing twangs and the harmonious croons of ‘Baby Blue’ (referenced numerous times across the record) that bring in the sentimentality factors, allowing you to get lost within an abyss of minimal keys and soothing vocals with a much larger sense of direction and certainty that we saw from this demo take, back in his Zoo Kid stage. A notion only echoed into the fact that ‘Out Getting Ribs’ doesn't sound dated and stale among this body of work- as one may expect, however, when a swathe of material is conducted with the same recipe, rarely adding something experimental in the mix, certain troughs are going to deflate noticeably and do so throughout, no matter how much the audience doesn't want to admit it.
Take for instance, the formulaic workings of ‘Ceiling’, a track which commends itself as unstructured, half-hearted and forgettable within its three minutes- yet ‘A Lizard State.aff’ brings you straight back to the here and now, seeming a million miles away from his younger efforts thanks to the muscle, depth and jazz statemented brass that is so assured of itself you could imagine Archy clicking away, stool-perched, cigarette in mouth over at the nearest shadowing speakeasy.
 ‘6 Feet Beneath The Moon’ is exactly what you would expect from Marshall, yet sets him apart from his Jamie T comparisons that many journalists have been prompt to tar him with- this is a release full of heartbreak disguised as something much more positive, being the record that would soundtrack a grey, rainy train journey back to reality the morning after the night before, rather than telling tales of underage scoundrels hanging around where they shouldn't on a Saturday evening.
Refreshing, beautiful and emotive- on tracks where he does strike gold- it may be, as well as a piece that presents itself well beyond its writers years, it is however distinctively unfortunate how his few breathtaking, timeless pieces are saturated in a cloud of repetitive bad habits and banal, unnecessary quantity-not-quality-tracks. Happy Birthday Archy, you've just broken my heart and it may not be in the most memorable sense...
Words by Yours Truly X

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Interview // Speak!

I'm proud to say that I'll now be regularly blogging guest posts over on Lily Mercer's site! In case you didn't already know, Lily is the online editor-in-chief of SB TV and also hosts Rinse FM's only underground hip-hop show every Sunday, in between jet-setting all over the place to interview rappers and rebels. Pretty sweet, right? You should click on over to her site and get lost for hours like I did, thanks to mini video posts, in-depth article excerpts, style posts, upcoming events and everything inbetween. My first contribution to the site is an interview with my latest West Coast favourite Speak!, in which we discussed flipping burgers for a living, drugs and er, Kylie Minogue... check it out here!
Words by Yours Truly X

Monday, 5 August 2013

Review // Pond- 'Hobo Rocket'

It's Monday which means a whole new load of releases are unleashed for your ears out into the big wide world- one of these being Pond's 'Hobo Rocket', which I reviewed for Crack over here. You can also read the piece below- spoiler alert: It ain't 'Beard, Wives, Denim', that is for sure...
Pond- 'Hobo Rocket'
 Aussie psychedelic collective Pond have been at the height of their underground success for a number of years, yet they've never stood to the praise and recognition they deserved until last year’s 'Beard, Wives, Denim', a collection of flailing, warped garage offerings. However, the band have come close to mainstream recognition due to having common members with the widely loved neo-psych outfit Tame Impala. But as Pond/TI member Jay Watson once told us over a cigarette in Manchester: “Tame Impala is the pussy version of Pond. This is what we produce when we don’t have limits.” And judging by opener 'Whatever Happened to the Million Head Collide', with it’s almost-hypnotic vocals and clashing waves of unadulterated scuzz, it seems like this really is Pond’s big, bold statement… in the honeymoon stages, that is.
 Second track 'Xanman' projects Pond’s past country ideologies, woven with hazed-out guitar lines and scathingly coarse deliveries that burst out of your speakers until they almost reach distortional proportions themselves, atop a definitive explosion of raunched-out rockings that build tighter into an outbreak of corrugated unruliness. 'O Dharma' is about as poignant as this five-some will ever get, with tranquil instrumentals and achingly forlorn vocals of ‘when your love turns black and everything looks grey/ when your life comes back and you've got nothing left to say‘ that stretch out and tip-toe overhead, but rather than magnifying the potential beauty within, the song falls flat amongst it’s clichéd reveal. It’s a noticeable, reoccurring downfall that only continues on throughout the record’s thirty-two minute expedition.
 And that’ exactly the issue here, Hobo Rocket doesn't feel like a journey, progressive or not being out of the question, instead it gives the listener a sensation like a strenuous trek of epic proportions. Guest vocals from friend of the band and little-known character ‘Cowboy John’ on the title track are nothing more than uniform churns strewn out across their trademark pointers of rough and ready riffs, causing things to only decline more, thereon in, while 'Giant Tortoise' presents itself as anything but freshly produced, thronging them into feeling like one foot is remained firmly in the past. We get it, Pond are a kaleidoscopic bunch who like their workings drenched in fuzz, but they’re really not adding any edge to what we have actually grown to adore them for. For a release from such a highly energetic band who apparently don’t just pour, but rather unleash their inner craziness, Hobo Rocket is an unsatisfactory release that lacks excitement, originality and dynamism in equal measure.
Words by Yours Truly X

Friday, 2 August 2013

Hello Giggles // Underdogs' To Fall In Love With

Hey, Friday! Seeing as I have no life inbetween living for the weekend this Summer, I have found myself in a constant routine cycle of planning trips, writing articles and reliving excellent series of the past- sad it may be, but I thought hey, why not combine the latter two and share my underdogs' to fall in love with from some of the best programmes of yesteryear. Even more so, I had this piece published over on Hello Giggles- A female lifestyle website founded by Zooey Deschanel, Sophia Rossi and Molly McAleer; Sisters doing it for themselves! Obviously it's a step away from my musical-based pieces that you're all usually used to but a little change is good, especially when it involves a young Jason Segel and Twin Peaks, duh. You can read all about it over here!

Words by Yours Truly X