King Krule’s ‘The Ooz’ sinks you into an immersive experience

By Michael Hanson

(King Krule/ Facebook)

This record has a lot of development compared to King Krule’s first album, “6 Feet Beneath the Moon,” or at the very least, this sophomore album includes many fresh sounds. “The OOZ” by popular regard is an immersive listen. Stay close, listen close and you’ll hear it: creative guitar work, beautifully flange, reverb guitar that’s always dynamic and cult vocal lyricism that sounds like riffing are classic to the Archy Marshall sound.

Listen to “Cadet Limbo.” Its use of a pulling, repetitive bassline gauges are a repertoire of instruments that sort of wander through the pane. Light taps splay the background with empathetic percussion, while sax interludes weave the song through Marshall’s lyricism. Its jazz count would sound just as appropriate in triplets.

Small subdivisions and switches in the percussion-bass relationship did more than hint how jazzy this track felt. The atmosphere is individual on each of the tracks, as if you’re entering rooms in a house and experiencing the respective power of each aesthetic as it comes.

Transitional pieces like “Bermondsey Bosom (Left)” are layered with sound and melody, and, according to Noisey, was going to be seven minutes long, mirroring a walk Marshall would take winding next to a neighborhood he used to live in. The song right after, titled “Logos,” is an appropriate aesthetic transition as Krule incorporates rain samplings, jazz drums in triplets and jazzy guitar.

This is a breakup album, and track 18 is a song about breakup. In “Midnight 01 (Deep Sea Diver),” Marshall’s voice haunts, “Why’d you leave me? Because of my depression? / You used to complete me but I guess I learnt a lesson / Things are even / But don’t even out / The deep sea diver’s in doubt.”

The musician self-identifies as the “deep sea diver in “La Lune,” the closing track of “6 Feet Beneath The Moon”—and to be drowning is a frequent motif in his work, especially on the tracks “Vidual,” “Bermondsey Bosom (Right)” and “Biscuit Town.”

The variable themes on tracks like “Vidual”—its surfer rock vibe, head bob guitar, two step percussion—and “Lonely Blue” are especially reminiscent of the current pop psychedelic rock aesthetic that’s popular right now. However, the pacing of the song individualizes the approach.

“Slush Puppy” is more or less a pleasant union of the two. However, you can hear the chorus borderline screaming, “Nothing’s working with me,” which juxtaposes the verse early in the song. Falsetto and mid-voice weavings create a really interesting atmosphere.

I was really happy to see “Czech One” on this record, considering I heard it as a single. As contextualized on this album, it sounds almost as catchy as the title track. Dark, melodic bell-sounding keys, light sax, and beautifully jazzy piano interlude, while a percussive, almost metronomic ebbs and flows like bubbly pop drums.

A few songs strayed from the aesthetically variant themes prevalent in most of the songs. “Half Man Half Shark” is a fast-paced punk song with a raw melodic power in the low end on the breakdowns of the chorus. Listen to the chorus in “Half Man Half Shark” for a really beautiful marriage of vocals and instrumentals, as Marshall delivers for a really mentally present musical experience.

The album has a lot of atmospheric emphasis, even on the more concrete concepts. This was meant as a full listen. New thematic elements from the traditionally low-key singer- songwriter as well as dope drums and bass on tunes like “Czech One” give this album nice depth and sonic variability. Take a listen!


Michael Hanson can be reached at [email protected]