Monday, September 9, 2013

King Krule at the Bowery Ballroom

Archy Marshall has an impressive music history for a teenager. He recorded and mixed his debut single, “Out Getting Ribs,” in his bedroom with a couple of friends in April 2010 and released it under the name Zoo Kid. The British singer songwriter then released an EP under the name King Krule in November 2011. Marshall also has recorded beat-driven mixtapes as DJ JD Sports and as Edgar the Beatmaker. He has since returned to his King Krule identity and released his debut album, 6 Feet beneath the Moon, on his 19th birthday in August 2013.

Headlining a sold-out Bowery Ballroom tonight, it appeared that word of mouth about Krule’s creativity has reached American shores. Multiply the punky snarliness of Elvis Costello times Graham Parker times Joe Strummer in the late 1970s to arrive at an approximation of Krule’s baritone delivery. The average listener was challenged to decipher his lyrics but the voice was expressive, easily shifting between muffled croons and growls. Krule played guitar on a few songs, and his chords sounded as if he was backing a soul singer, while his backing trio played sparse-sounding jazz arrangements. The band injected flecks of reggae, dubstep and punk rock, but the sum total was not any of these; it was something altogether original, gritty and intoxicating. Few if any of the skeletal song structures maintained a traditional 4/4 beat for long, aiming to entrance the listener with haunting vocals and odd compositions. The teenaged King Krule ruled with a royal innovation crowned by very few musicians.

Visit King Krule at