Review Summary: I am confident that our generation could do better than this.
It's not often nowadays you see seventeen year-old musicians getting critical attention. I feel like the younger generation is usually ignored in the music business, so when I saw the young True Panther signee Archy Marshall, who records under Zoo Kid and King Krule, on the front page of Pitchfork, I got pretty excited. However, after reading an interview with him, I was rather discouraged. He seemed awfully pretentious for somebody his age, almost to the point of sounding immature. Hoping that Archy's wry personality would not be reflected in his music, I gave his debut self titled EP a try.
Unfortunately, Marshall's music does not seem to do the younger generation much justice. His music is said to reflect the dissilusionment of his generation in the wake of the recent London riots carried out by the younger British demographic. I'm sure this is quite a simple parallel to draw, but Marshall's gloomy blues driven by hip-hop inspired beats shows nothing more than the bored expression he wears in all of his photo shoots (along with his wardrobe which appears to be intended for someone twice his size).
The release opens with a short instrumental piece titled "36N63", which gives the listener a good taste of basically what the King Krule is all about. It opens with a bluesy guitar line, melancholic with reverb playing over an upright bass and a dancey beat. It all sounds very nice until Marshall starts to sing on the next track, "Bleak Blake". Marshall's mumbly and low vocals blend with the music just about as well as Lou Reed blends in with Metallica. His overly-British exaggerated vowel sounds get extremely irritating by the end of the thirteen minutes the ep occupies.
On paper, Archy Marshall's music really does not sound like a bad idea. The bluesy guitar and distant snare hits on "36N63" really go together well and sound like something that could go places if done right. But Archy Marshall, unfortunately, does not seem to be doing it right. The single on the EP, "The Noose of Jah City", sounds far too hazy and weary for it's own good, and in the end, doesn't seem to go anywhere. King Krule really sounds like a project that could go places, but at the moment Archy should worry about filling out his clothes.