We Went to a Show - King Krule at MTELUS, Montreal
Review & Photos by Colin Crawford
Experimental hardcore freaks Show Me the Body wasted no time riling up the floor crowd at MTELUS in Montreal last saturday, launching into their unique flavour of youthful protest punk. The trio opened with their fiery new single K-9, and dove into a contagiously energetic performance. Frontman Julian Cashwan Pratt threw himself around the stage and lost his black toque and puffy jacket a few songs in, dancing spastically, possessed with passion. Reciprocating this energy, the floor sustained healthy mosh pit throughout a set which focused heavily on the band’s 2016 album Body War. With 15 of 17 tracks on this year’s Corpus I including features from a wide range of boundary pushing artists, Show Me the Body’s new independent label Corpus has an aggressive ethos of inter-genre collaboration and inclusivity. Beneath a great live show, this New York trio is carving out space for collective experimentation and creative freedom, a vision of the future we need pay attention to both in the flesh and in our earbuds.
Many of us have grown up with the punk-jazz wunderkind Archy Marshall, aka King Krule, navigating youth’s angst and melancholy through his moody baritone vocals. In Montreal for the first time, Krule and his six piece band treated 2300 eager fans to a balance of collective nostalgia and live iterations from his new record The Ooz. This new record offers new glimpses of maturity and introspection into Marshall’s morose character. The deep, slow, bluesy arch of the album is punctuated by spikes of energy on tracks such as ‘Dum Surfer’, ‘Vidal’, ‘Half Man Half Shark’, and ‘Emergency Blimp’. The arrangements of The Ooz therefore read like an EKG scan, with the pain of loneliness and confusion lashing out in periodic bursts of passion, only to once again collapse into the loungey malaise found on ‘Czech One’ and ‘La Lune’. In a similar fashion, Krule’s live band expertly meandered between these layers of loud surfy punk, and atmospheric dark jazz throughout the set. While certain tracks from The Ooz got the crowd going, it was ultimately oldies like ‘Easy Easy’ and ‘Out Getting Ribs’ that brought the house down at the end of the night.