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 fa├žade 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

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