King Krule returns after four years with “The Ooz,” disappoints


William Carrington, Staff Writer

On Oct. 13, King Krule, alias for Archie Marshall, released his second full-length album, “The OOZ,” and it’s certainly that. Coming in at 19 songs and running an hour and six minutes, it is his worst project yet.

After spending 2010 under the alias Zoo Kid and generating a reputation in the underground scene, he broke out the following year as King Krule with a self-titled EP. “King Krule” introduced his now finalized sound to the world. This album, along with his 2013 album, “6 Feet Below the Moon,” put his unique sound into the underground scene and made him awfully hard to ignore. These albums were an exciting start to a promising career. There were problems with their daring sound, a mix of oozy and dreamy guitars punctuated by Marshall’s expressive and assertive lyrics. The albums were focused on their individual themes, but they weren’t able to completely follow through. Needless to say, after four years, most listeners were particularly excited for 2017’s “The OOZ.”

Upon release, I really wanted to like it. At face value, it’s a good album. The same sound is there, just slightly less focused and punchy. The runtime is noticeable and not necessarily a good thing, but that has never defined an album for me. The album covers a lot of genres, drawing inspiration from everywhere, which makes it interesting. Lyric wise, this is a sad album, and there’s nothing wrong with that, especially considering the content of Marshall’s past releases.

When it comes to the replay-ability and lasting effect of these hour-long ideas, however, Marshall didn’t live up to my expectations. Looking deeper into the album for anything to add to my playlist, I found that there are no complete songs on the album; it feels like an album completely of filler tracks. The multiple stylistic influences merge together, making each song reminiscent of the last. Instead of organizing each song into a complete, organized and unique sound, it’s as if Marshall decided, after four years, to put all of his mismatched ideas into 19 disorganized tracks.

My favorite song on the entire album, “Half Man Half Shark,” is one of the few that show any semblance of structure or progression, reaching a relatable and not entirely depressing point of reliability. Marshall brings back his distinctive vocals, musing, “See world, you’ll never know / At least when you look to the stars they still glow.” This is easily one of the most organized songs on the album, reminding me of distinct bass lines from the Ska Punk movement of the late 80s; the groove brought songs such as Rancid’s “Ruby Soho” to mind.

Overall, this album is not bad. I thoroughly enjoyed listening through it. It’s very satisfying as background music, but when put under any scrutiny, it doesn’t hold up well at all. Marshall’s lyrical style seems to have almost entirely disappeared, and it’s plain that he hasn’t felt the need to change his sound all that much in the last four years. Not that his first few albums were bad, but after four years of nothing, “The OOZ” is a very listenable disappointment.