King Krule is known for his dystopian future settings that he paints through this harsh blues and greys under the blackened English sky. As Archy Marshall, King Krule’s moniker holder marches down the pathways of bleak and sulking power, he is on a crash course towards beauty with his first record, King Krule.
Directly rolled off the press with a five-track, 12-minute run-through of the blues that borders electric backings shifts with this M.C. Escher-esque cover art, King Krule is the exit music for a film that begs to be heard. As King Krule shouts into the void, he is charismatic but for all the reasons that he is different in a crowd. The overall sound, the style, and even the mechanics that go into a record shift with Krule as he pushes forward to “363N63,” the opening piece. With this dreamy guitar placed next to a beach house stacked to the gills with percussion, this sound that oozes out produces a reminiscent pour of emotion.
Instantly flashing into the mind are the lonely train rides, the walk home, and the finale to an unusually loud evening. With this entirely instrumental one-man jam session, King Krule does not hurdle over the obstacles but instead just seems to slip between them carelessly. He floats on this instrumental that acts otherworldly but familiar at the same time. It balances love and hate on the same palm while the lost and found dance on the other. He is more in tune with this self-reflection present on King Krule that acts as a mirror for the audience as well. Deep inside the recesses of King Krule’s sound lies desire and the will to challenge that transitions into the rather bright awakening that is “Bleak Bake” in the form of a handshake.
Krule’s voice is the main instrument that takes charge as his ominous vocals cloud the listener and match this string sections that blitz in and out of the track. Atmosphere plays a huge role in King Krule where even though only five-tracks, each location is vital to the continuation. In “Bleak Bake” there are moments that solely rely on this boom-snap percussive beat that is simple, but shifts all attention on King Krule. He is not lively but shows character development far beyond any novel. In the rebellious following “Portrait In Black and Blue,” King Krule is a swinging icon that staggers through vocals and a guitar that directly injects serotonin.
Less of a machine gun and more of a silent sniper, King Krule sneaks around and lingers in these dark corners where his sound hits like a ton of concrete. The music is not complicated but matches this persona of being an outsider looking in. A place of perfect balance that is both between breaking that circle and becoming his own. Before falling to the unavoidable silence lurking behind King Krule, he manages one more gold-toothed smile before disappearing back into the crowd that engulfs around him.