King Krule–A Lizard State

During a drunken conversation with Gang of Four’s John Sterry a few months ago, he asserted to me that he was over London.  Too expensive and no musical scene, he said.  I was shocked, insisting that there is always a crop of fresh, exciting work coming out of the city, but he vigorously preferred the output of Los Angeles based Burger Records to bands calling the English capital home.  I still think he’s overlooking a lot of talent.  I’ve already covered plenty of current London artists: Shopping, Savages, Fat White Family (I should add apparently he is mates with them), The Vaccines, Jamie T (technically not London proper, but on the tube map, so close enough).  And there are loads more worth a mention.  Archy Marshall is certainly on the top of that list.  Working under his own name and a bevy of pseudonyms (King Krule, Zoo Kid, etc.) he’s melded genres like hip hop, trip hop, jazz and dubstep to create a dark soundscape all his own.  The BRIT School grad can sometimes seem laconic and dazed on record, but his live performances come with a surprising dose of ferocious aggression.  One of the few songs that sees those qualities present on record is the jagged, jazzy A Lizard State.  It’s a threatening tune made all the more menacing by the erratic composition.  The sputtering drums (which are suitably hypnotic live) and punchy sax underlay Marshall’s rapid-fire rantings.  It’s a tightly coiled, volatile piece of musical bravado that earns every bit of its raw rage.

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