I never did find out why Archy Marshall changed his Zoo Kid moniker to King Krule. Maybe he's so confident of his musical career achieving longevity that he didn't want to be hindered in the future by being one of those middle aged musicians with a name that really wasn't appropriate for them anymore. If that really is the reason it seems like a very forward thinking move for someone so young. Then again, it wouldn't be that out of step with his overall musical aesthetic Which exudes a kind of boredom verging on appathy that only normally comes from a life filled with many disappointments. I wouldn't be so pressumptive as to say he can't possibly be so down on life at the tender age of 17, but it would seem painfully unfortunate if that were in fact true.
King Krule caught my attention initially with his starkly minimal video for his brilliant single "Out Getting Ribs" his 50's rockabilly hairstyle and sad eyes just seem to strike something in me. This Ep i've only recently heard, even though it came out last year and although there isn't anything on here thats as impressive as "Out Getting Ribs" there's still many reasons for me to stay interested. "Portrait In black and Blue" bears the most similarity to "OGR" with the song featuring the same clean electric guitar riff and his disconsolately gruff vocals albeit with some nice additional percussion. The lyrics are pretty bleak with themes of despair and failed romance permeating the song.
"Lead Existence" follows the same path as "Portrait In Black And Blue" but abruptly ends with the line "I lost the soul to my blues, a long time ago" and "The Noose Of Jah City" closes out the Ep with yet more pathos with Archy detailing a premonition of his own death. It all sounds rather depressing on paper, but the vibe on the self titled release is actually quite mellow with light keyboards and loungy house beats saving some of these songs from becoming to maudlin. I'm perhaps being a little stingy by only giving this 3 and a half stars as i really like what king Krules doing here. I just think he needs to write more songs or make them longer in the future, as even for an EP this felt really short. The threadbare arrangements wouldn't be a problem on a full length but with an EP they just seem to breeze by almost too easily.
(recently altered from 3 stars to 4, I was being too stingy! Short or not, this is a great E.P and King Krule is a unique talent)