Posted in music | pictures on January 12, 2012

photos by Ryan Barkan, words by Andrew Frisicano

King Krule @ Mercury Lounge
King Krule

After setting the buzz machine into full-gear at CMJ, King Krule returned to NYC on Wednesday for a sold-out show at Mercury Lounge. It was the first of four US performances for the UK project on their short tour: All three of the NYC shows--including Terminal 5 opening for Girls and Real Estate--are sold out. Right around the posted start time, 10:30pm, the line to get in stretched down the block.

Archy Marshall, the undersized 17-year-old frontman/songwriter behind the group, and his band came well prepared for the task, performing an 11-song set that included material from the self-titled King Krule EP (True Panther Sounds) and tracks released under his previous stage-name Zoo Kid. Played by a quartet, the songs sounded more rock-oriented than the recordings, with bombastic swells and crashes absent from the originals. Their set flew by.

The vibe combines jazzy, classic-sounding songs with a surfy guitar tone and a few airy "dubstep" flairs, and the tunes are almost exclusively based around minor chords and a shuffling drum beat. One can imagine the red-haired singer a short time from now crooning soulful songs in a lounge somewhere. Coincidentally, the set list seems to include a title from ultra-hip NYC jazz act the Lounge Lizards (which the band didn't play). The ones that they did get to were catchy, moody in the right ways, not too carefully played, and over before they became boring.

Whatever you think of the band's sound, firmly rooted in the current pop-music moment, Archy's undeniable vocal talents are what carry the group. As someone remarked, "it sounds like there's a 40 year old trapped inside his body." Sentiments like that speak to both his voice's range (incredibly low and possibly still dropping) and the quality of its sound (creaking and groaning and expressive). He also uses it remarkably well, winding through melodies in a way that rewards repeat listens.

The band closed out the night with Zoo Kid single "Out Getting Ribs," a love song named after a Basquiat drawing (check the set list below for another Basquiat Easter egg). Anyone who dared to chat through the quiet tune got a glare from those looking to soak in set's final moments. The packed room was near silent.

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Chevin & The Pierces also played Mercury Lounge last night, but they were the early show. Pictures of all three bands are below...

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Chevin

Chevin

Chevin

Chevin

Chevin

Chevin

Chevin

Chevin

Chevin

The Pierces

The Pierces

The Pierces

The Pierces

The Pierces

The Pierces

King Krule

King Krule

King Krule

King Krule

King Krule

King Krule

King Krule

King Krule

King Krule

King Krule

King Krule

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Comments (30)

Before you try to bash this kid with negative comments, please remember...don't be KRULE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Anonymous | January 12, 2012 2:38 PM

it's amazing, this guy is only 7 years old

Posted by Anonymous | January 12, 2012 2:39 PM

gross.

Posted by Anonymous | January 12, 2012 2:41 PM

Krule to be kind.

Posted by Anonymous | January 12, 2012 2:53 PM

this kid opened up for trash talk and i almost wanted to punch his band cause it was bad. i mean terrible!

Posted by Anonymous | January 12, 2012 3:00 PM

"Before you try to bash this kid with negative comments..."


Why not? There's that sausage bullshit being spewed by hipster toddlers all the time. We shall give this tyke no mercy...

Posted by Anonymous | January 12, 2012 3:01 PM

stick to your after school job, kid

Posted by Anonymous | January 12, 2012 3:01 PM

The Weasleys....one got accepted to Hogwart's and the other is about to get booed off stages across America. Sorry kid, time to put down the guitar and pick up a wand.

Posted by Anonymous | January 12, 2012 3:05 PM

Anyone who dared to chat through the quiet tune got a glare from those looking to soak in set's final moments. The packed room was near silent.

oh jesus fucking christ...

Posted by Anonymous | January 12, 2012 3:25 PM

Archy Marshall looks like Melvin before he turned into the Toxic Avenger.

Posted by Anonymous | January 12, 2012 3:40 PM

TOXIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Anonymous | January 12, 2012 3:51 PM

2:38, I would never be that Krule to you.

Posted by Anonymous | January 12, 2012 3:54 PM

Holy shit! Ferguson Darling has a band? WIN.

Posted by Anonymous | January 12, 2012 4:07 PM

3:25, could not agree more. This is the stupid kind of internet hype bullshit that passes for music critique as well as the music scene today.

I went to the show, free ticket, and let's demystify a few things.

-It is no big deal to s.e.l.l. out Mercury Lounge or Glasslands. Give me a fucking break. Terminal 5 is not sold out.Typical Bowery Presents bullshit s.e.l.l. out. And if it was really s.o.l.d. out it is not cause people are clamoring to see King Krule

-The line only snaked down the block cause they had not let any people in yet and the set time was actually posed on their site as being 10pm.Much different than the writer trying to use that as a way to say it was such an important big show.

-quoting 3:25 Oh jesus fucking christ. That is such bullshit. People were chatting and no one was staring them down. As for packed house, I have been to plenty of Mercury shows more packed.


As to the long winded unnecessary review of rhe music. Oh jesus fucking christ again. The guy is really nothing special.

Posted by Anonymous | January 12, 2012 4:12 PM

kruuUUUUuuUUUuuuullle - st vinnie

Posted by Anonymous | January 12, 2012 4:27 PM

bonny lad

Posted by Anonymous | January 12, 2012 4:36 PM

What happened to paying your dues? They'll really give a record deal to anyone now, won't they?

Posted by Anonymous | January 12, 2012 4:59 PM

I'm just happy to discover that "Chevin & the Pierces" isn't a band name.

Posted by streetdude | January 12, 2012 5:13 PM

the pierces look old... they used to be hot

Posted by Anonymous | January 12, 2012 5:53 PM

i like Melvin before he turned into the Toxic Avenger.Thanks

Posted by Avioes a Venda | January 13, 2012 7:48 AM

Ah, give the kid a break. It's hard enough to be a ginger. Now he's getting made fun of by a bunch of nerdy hipsters, some of whom probably look similar to him, but older.

Posted by Anonymous | January 13, 2012 8:03 AM

Sunday, Monday, Happy Days

Posted by Anonymous | January 13, 2012 10:06 AM

I have never seen him live, but the ep is pretty good. Perhaps it is a bit too English for American hipsters? I'm not saying it's the greatest thing I have ever heard, but it's not as awful as these comments suggest. Alot of BV commenters hate on James Blake too, who also happens to be very English.

Posted by Anonymous | January 13, 2012 10:20 AM

how long was his set in total?
45 minutes?

Posted by Anonymous | January 13, 2012 6:58 PM

40 minutes

Posted by Anonymous | January 13, 2012 7:15 PM

EEEEEEKKKKK!!! If you can't say something nice don't say anything at all. Or you'll just look like a bitter old shit. Whoops! Language! Anyway....King Krule was fantastic. Great show excellent vibe. Can't wait to see what he does for years to come!!!

Posted by Amie Wiencke | January 15, 2012 4:16 PM

^you better move to the UK then, because he'll do nothing in the US but fail.

Posted by Anonymous | January 15, 2012 4:47 PM

do I ever love king krule

Posted by jordon | August 8, 2013 3:06 PM

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