Review Summary: I think you've got them in your sights.6 Feet Beneath the Moon
is one of those cases where the artist, noticed for their cultivated image, proves to be far more than the sum of that image. Much has been made of the contrast between young Archy Marshall's slight frame and his booming voice that has drawn a few (ill-suited) comparisons to Tom Waits, but his music stretches beyond that shallow observation, unlike some artists who are little more than music industry golems with an addiction to controversy and a Twitter account. (No names.) It's an extremely creative and relaxing endeavor, and moreover is a testament to the music-making abilities that the collective "we" are now equipped with thanks to technological advancements and recording devices in every home with nary a concern for the Thought Police.
Marshall is evidently in tune with the hip-hop and trip-hop scenes. His songs are built around simplistic drum loops that effectively keep time and little more, but he layers the songs with delay, reverb, and a variety of instruments and effects to distinguish the songs from just being run-of-the-mill blues rock. Watery ambience introduces and purveys "Foreign 2", the song that comes closest to trip-hop here, and the muted power chords on lead single "Easy, Easy" echo relaxingly. 6 Feet Beneath the Moon
is aptly titled for the most part, as the tone set by the effects and electronics and copious jazz chords is a soothing one, but without being dull or snoreworthy. Marshall's voice is most responsible for this since his Cockney accent and throaty voice have a sleepy charm to them, one that keeps the listener attentive without being overbearing. There are a couple of upbeat moments, especially the frantic punky throwback "A Lizard State" and the funky "Krockadile", but they are the exceptions to a uniformly simple and soft theme.
The lyrics here are inconsequential for the most part, being relatively incomprehensible thanks to the thick yowl, but they have their moments of brilliance. "Baby Blue"'s opening lines harken back to Bob Dylan's most imagery-laden work, on his Love and Theft
album, as Krule sings, "My sandpaper sigh engraves a lie into the rust of your tongue; girl, I could've been someone", atop arpeggiated jazz chords. "Neptune Estate" channels some of his rap influences - "I hope you feel used, and cope the way you do, should conjure up abuse, select your loss, slip to lose". And "Easy, Easy" waxes over social issues, snarling "Well, they just want you for your dough, man, I'm sure I told you so". Nothing here is particularly mind-boggling or insightful, but it remains captivating because of the simplistic, accessible nature.
The trouble with 6 Feet Beneath the Moon
is that it loses mystique as the album draws to a close, running a little too long. The atmosphere suffers most notably in the case of "Out Getting Ribs" which has no lasting effect at all, but the middle portion of the album, between "Baby Blue" and "Neptune Estate", is probably the weakest, as it's by this point that the style wears thin due to the minimal diversification outside of "A Lizard State". Such is the problem with consistency in songwriting - to jump around with structures and styles is to make your album far too eclectic for comprehensive listening, but too much of it can sacrifice variety.
Still, 6 Feet Beneath the Moon
is a relaxingly nostalgic experience that contains enough experimentation and individuality to make it a relevant but pleasant listen, and proves that Krule at least has the potential to craft something amazing.