The world’s favorite British ginger is Ed Sheeran. The dude’s talented: he can sing, play guitar, rap, and successfully steal from Jamaicans. With his latest album smashing records, no other British singing ginger can top Ed Sheeran.
What the world thinks is nice, but when it comes to that, I act like a Christian; I really don’t care. In my eyes there’s a British ginger (a more soulful one) that can top Sheeran. His name is Archy Marshall, a.k.a. King Krule, and his new album The Ooz is worth taking a break from Ed Sheeran.
On The Ooz, King Krule, just like in his debut album, incorporates a plethora of different genres. He tethers between energetic punk rock songs like “Emergency Blimp” and ethereal jazz ballads like “Lonely Blue.” Along with those contrasting sounds, Krule also incorporates post punk, surf rock, and hip hop.
The most interesting thing about Krule’s surf rock influence is that, like his last album, there’s a nautical motif. This time, however, the motif isn’t just lyrical; it’s also sonic. The riff of “Half Man Half Shark” gives the feeling that Jaws is about to creep out from under the ocean.
Vocally Krule’s improved from his last album. Whether he’s belting or crooning, Krule’s voice makes you feel what he’s feeling. His crooning in his more atmospheric songs put you in a spacey void, while his uncontrollable yelling in his more punk-inspired songs makes you want to start a mosh pit. Also, Archy’s seem to learn how to tame his voice when it goes feral.
Another improvement on this album over his debut is his inclusion of live drums. The instrumentation of 6 Feet Beneath the Moon was sparse, and although it made it feel surreal, it begged the question: How would “Easy Easy” sound if the drums entered during the chorus?” With The Ooz, you get that answer in a song like “Vidual.” Also, whatever direction Krule’s song goes in, the swinging ride cymbal or hard snare hit complements it.
Like Krule’s last album, the lyrical content of The Ooz features themes of depression, drug use, mania, and loneliness, as well as lunar and nautical motifs. Though most of these themes are on the pessimistic side, it fits the soundscape of the album, which features ethereal void, punk rock concerts, shark attacks, and Krule in his signature oversized tux. The downside of this type of lyricism, however, is that it can make a depressed person feel even more depressed.
The only real flaw os this album is that some of the instrumentation could be fleshed out more. For example, “Czech One” has a pretty keyboard riff; however, it sounds too bland to have much replay value. Also “A Slide In (New Drugs)” could be intensified with short loops of a repetitive guitar note.
Overall I consider Krule the surperior British Ginger over Ed Sheeran because on The Ooz he’s literally Beach Boys meets The Smiths meets Dilla meets The Clash meets Frank Sinatra. He has an eclectic sound that features polar ends of the musical spectrum and has the ability to blend these contrasting sounds into a cohesive, entrancing experience. If you feel offended by my belittling of Ed Sheeran, I implore you to listen to The Ooz and see why I brought him down.