Fugazi, Pavement, Pixies
We have fond memories of riding our bikes as kids to the fish store to buy Krill food for our fish aquariums and African cichlids to devour. Perhaps the perfect day for us involved a stop at the fish store and Mr. Cheapos used record shop or Music Den where hours and hours of our lives were spent perusing hidden gems and bargain bins. Back in the day, we would have been intrigued by the album cover of Krill's 2013 album Lucky Leaves and perhaps dropped $5 bucks or so on the disc. Is that a Jawa on the cover? This looks like it could have a dark edge and be intriguing. Song titles seem pretty out there, lets grab it!
Welcome Krill, a Boston (Jamaica Plain) based trio who have delivered a quirky and very impressive album in Lucky Leaves. Lead singer Jonah Furman has a very distinctive disheveled voice that exudes intensity and angst. His off key shrills are an acquired taste much like perhaps Jordan Dreyer of La Dispute or Stephen Malkmus of Pavement. Furman's vocal tones add a consistent sense of desperation or defeat that become quite entertaining to the listener.
1. Theme From Krill - 3:28
2. Never a Joke - 3:00
3. Sick Dogs for Ian - 3:02
4. Purity of Heart - 3:42
5. This Morning - 2:47
6. My Boy - 2:52
7. Oppressor - 4:17
8. Street Level - 2:52
9. Tetherball - 4:12
10. Infinite Power - 4:16
11. Theme From Krill (Reprise) - 1:59
The first track wets your whistle as Furman yelps “Krill, Krill, Krill forever” . Its always risky territory when you tout your own name in a song, but this intro works. Its a nice warm-up to get the listener's palate clean and ready for the quirkiness ahead. "Never a Joke" is one of our favorite tracks off the album and the one that really triggered us putting Lucky Leaves in rotation. Tremendous use of the bass that reminds us of classic Fugazi. "Sick Dogs for Ian" follows with some terrific catchy hooks and lines... "all he wants is to wallow in his on filth"... "sick the dogs on him, he deserves whats coming". Track four, "Purity of Heart" appears perhaps as the most radio friendly track of the bunch. The song has some indie guitar rhythms with a very low-budget appeal that makes the track endearing. It has some of the more uplifting melodies within the album.
Most impressively throughout the album, we found subtle math rock influences utilizing off-beat time signatures and unique syncopation. The bass-work on each track is extraordinary. There is really only one mediocre track on the album in Oppressor". This one was a tough one for us to get into. A little flat on the interplays. We love the ending with the reprise and warm acoustic work. Sharp and intelligent way to end the album where the listener can relax off the high that is Krill.
Being from the Northeast, the crew at Rotation11 is very excited to catch the trio live. We will be sure to post some feedback for everyone. Indie music fans need to pick-up Lucky Leaves. It is a fine piece of work filled with great moments. Fans of Pavement and Survival Knife (check-out our review of Survival Knife) will surely enjoy this one. - 1/19/2014
Standout Tracks: Tetherball, Sick Dogs for Ian, Never a Joke