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December 11th, 2013 MICHAEL MANNHEIMER | Music Stories
 

Show Preview: King Krule, Willis Earl Beal

music_kingkrule_4006KING KRULE - Image courtesy of Life or Death PR
[THUG LYFE] Archy Marshall is a lover, not a fighter. The music he creates under his nom de plume King Krule is wise beyond its years—gritty, stubborn, stark and impossibly tuneful. Watching the lanky redhead onstage, wearing a suit two sizes too big, you get the sense his songs aren’t written as much as unearthed from under a box of stale hash. King Krule has frequently been compared to a British Tom Waits or Joe Strummer raised on hip-hop and dubstep, but on his debut record, 6 Feet Beneath the Moon, he sets course on his own path, writing classic heartbreakers often filled with only guitar, scattered percussion and his rugged, thuggish voice. It’s easily one of the most assured debuts in a long time, especially when you learn that many of these songs—including the jaw-dropping “Out Getting Ribs”—were written when the 19-year-old Marshall was just 16. You can hear bits of contemporary influences (especially on the languid “Neptune Estate,” which sounds like King Krule covering a Portishead song), but to my ears it’s more akin to a set of jazz standards reinterpreted as pop songs by a kid who doesn’t know any better. Believe the hype.

Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St., 231-9663. 9 pm Sunday, Dec. 15. $14. 21+.
 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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