I'm going to go ahead and say that the athleticism displayed by the dual Oberlin grads in Teengirl Fantasy, particularly the sporadic drumming from the one in the muscle tank top, is not typical for a pair of Oberlin grads, much less indie-rock turntablists. But neither is the music, really: interlocked patterns of disco-esque beats and tribal rhythms, made all the more out-there with noise and other effects bolting, sometimes zigzagging, through them. Aerobic music for those living on an intergalactic planet, I thought at one point, but that was before the two bright white floodlights flashed behind them and things took a turn towards bass-heavy techno. Club music for aliens, I thought.
You're obviously going to get sick of hearing how young Southeast Londoner Archy Marshall looks — it is, for the record, shockingly young. He really does look like Archie from the comics — that's written in my notes. Did I mention that his Mom was there? And she was really excited about the whole thing, this being her son's much-anticipated U.S. debut. Waiting for King Krule and his three-piece band to finish soundchecking took on a different feel than waiting for the others that played last night. People ducked through the crowd to get up front, photographers manned their posts, girls screamed for him (his Mom and her friend, turns out, but, still).
So, here we go, the kid poised to be this year's CMJ breakout, deep breath: Not mind-blowing, to be honest, but there is something undoubtedly special about him; something very, very intriguing. By conventional standards, the sounds he's putting together have no right to be together. Minimalist jazz was once thought to be an oxymoron, but here it somehow makes perfect sense. Blended with pub-housed folk, Marshall's words just sort of tumble out of him, his long pencil-thin fingers nimbly strumming along, all very nonchalantly. Bloggers getting in on the pre-fest buzz have been quick to call the brutal honesty of his lyrics the band's calling card, but between his thick accent and Glasslands' muffled sound, his words were difficult to hear. I managed to make out, "I don't prize myself"... something, something ..."TV"... something something ..."war"... something ..."solider." And, "They're the one who pulled out the knife," spoken-sung with blank stares. He occasionally attempts a joke but looks over to his bandmates while he talks. For a brief point of time he sounds like the love child between Mike Skinner and Billy Bragg. That's during the song where he says "fuck" a couple times; the one prefaced by, "This song is about reptiles."
Brooklyn standbys by now, Tanlines' jungle jams spurred a full-on dance party, anchored by some of the best stage banter of the night: "It's 1am on Wednesday night. That means everyone here has either really wonderful lives or really terrible lives." "Thank you, we are still Tanlines. We love you." We love you back, Tanlines