WVAU’s #7 AOTY: the OOZ by King Krule

WVAU's #7 AOTY: the OOZ by King Krule

Maria Carrasco

Photo from Pitchfork

English singer-songwriter Archy Marshall produced his second album, the OOZ, under the name King Krule and released it on Friday, October 13. And coming through, Marshall created a project that was sharp, coherent and in a way, agonizing.

The title the OOZ shows how Marshall made a record that was dark and almost alien-like under a genre like post-punk or jazz punk. This album is dark but it also has texture, with Marshall layering different elements, from a repetitive sinister laugh to a strong baseline to melodic saxophones. And this fusion makes for the most compelling tracks, like in his single “Dum Surfer.‰Û

Leading up to the release of this album, Marshall released singles “Dum Surfer,‰” “Half Man Half Shark‰” and “Czech One,‰” a collection of punchy, aggressive and sharp songs.

My favorite from the singles would have to be “Dum Surfer.‰” From the punchy, repeating verse “Dumb surfer, don’t suffer‰” to the complex and dynamic production of this song, this is Marshall‰’s best.

But what shines most in this song would have to be Marshall‰’s song writing – his songs aren‰’t traditional, they don‰’t have traditional choruses and bridges, and that‰’s ok. The songs still feel like a song and that‰’s what I feel is Marshall‰’s strength – creating music that is still extremely accessible without adhering to traditional song making.

“As venus completes orbit, I‰’m feeling slightly mashed / The stir fry didn‰’t absorb it, I need another slash / She spoke in English, it was low lit where we sat / Remembering her face but that‰’s the end of that / I‰’m a step from madness as I puke on pavement slabs / Got a bit embarrassed, need to get back to the lab‰Û

My favorite track on this whole album is a deep cut, “The Locomotive.‰” Here we see Marshall make his most powerful and passionate song on the record, full of anguish, despair and rage, yet still sharp and focused.

“Plagued by our brains, the internal sinking pain / I wish I was equal, if only that simple / I wish I was people (I wish) / The train it now arrives, I plead just take me home / Step the gap of minds, he steps the gap of minds‰Û

Marshall made an album that wasn‰’t conventional and wasn‰’t structured to be a traditional album. The OOZ has 19 tracks and yet is just over one hour long. And while every song individually might not be worth high praise, looking at the album as one overall piece, Marshall created one of his most passionate and raw projects. Compared to his tender debut, Six Feet Beneath the Moon, King Krule created something more obscure with the OOZ, while still highlighting his strengths.