For those familiar with Spencer Krug, you know the drill when one of his many projects emerges with some new music.Acquire it, listen to it, and, in most cases, love it.For the newcomers… where have you been? Over the last decade, Krug has proven to be one of indie rocks more intriguing contributors.The guy doesnt sleep much, what with being a key member of every band you like (Wolf Parade, Sunset Rubdown, Swan Lake, Frog Eyes, etc.). However, when he does take a few minutes to lay down, he dreams of riding around on leopards, exploring confetti-filled wastelands, getting lost in folds of dresses, and slaying dragons.Hes got quite the imagination!But hes always dreaming up something new.This time around, either somebody slipped something strong into his cactus juice (clearly thats his drink of choice), or he dozed off to a Discovery Channel special on Zimbabwean rituals.Who knows, maybe it was a combination of both.Either way, with the newest manifestation of the Krug Empire, a little project called Moonface, shit just got a little tribal. And if you thought Krug had weird dreams before, then you have simply got to hear this.
The Dreamland EP consists of a 20-minute track labeled Marimba and Shit-Drums.The songs title doesnt lie.What weve got here is an epically long marimba composition accompanied by shit-drums.I dont know whats come over Krug, but this sitcom-length marimba exercise somehow presents a side of the Wolf Parade/Sunset Rubdown/Swan Lake/every-other-fucking-band frontman weve yet to see in his ever-expanding catalogue.Though the marimba composition is pretty intricate, as a whole its relatively sparse. Yet, in many ways, it’s consuming.
If I told you Spencer Krug wrote a 20-minute song on Marimba, banged on some trash cans and bass drums, and sang a weaving narrative filled with nightmarish imagery, what sounds would come to mind?What youve got in your head probably isnt so far off from what Moonfaces Dreamland EP actually sounds like.The first question you probably want to ask about Marimba and Shit-Drums is, Why?But, in all honesty, we dont really need an answer.The absurdity of the idea is the source of most of its intrigue.Spencer Krug just does what he wants.This time, hes using some new, albeit peculiar, instrumentation. Simply put, it works. And it’s a hell of a lot better than you’d think.
Over the course of the track, tantalizing marimba bounces around Krugs reverberating howl. The tune’s style and structure mostly recall some of the tracks off of last years Dragonslayer.I ventured into a dreamland, Krug dribbles over his own haunting vocal harmonies.Drums bang like trash cans, and the few layers come together for a surprisingly full sound.As the flourishing, bright marimba notes weave into one another, we cant help but follow along into the dreamland, where Krug plays a glass guitar and sings to the gods.We are voyeurs of an amalgam of Krugs nightmares, and its pretty spectacular.Its hard to tell what Krugs getting at, with all of his Fellini-esque imagery melting together, but its almost irrelevant.We don’t need an explanation as to why he watches a doctor check a girl for a fever, only to exclaim, Hes just reading her mind. It’s just part of the nightmare.
As the song progresses, notes grow skittish and get freaky, and Krug throws more oddities our way.Its a very well-orchestrated track, especially considering we havent heard this instrument in Krugs work before.Sure, the marimba can feel a little repetitive over the course of the long track, but at least Spence isnt lying to us.You knew what you were getting yourself into when you read the title. And if you throw your reservations out the window, Krug makes a good case for the marimba as a lead instrument. Especially if he’s the one playing it and singing along.
If you like Krugs songwriting style and his obscure, metaphorical imagery, then youd be foolish to pass on Moonface.But, even if youre not a full-on Kruggie, this lengthy track can give you a good idea of how the man operates.Its not the best introduction, but its not the worst. If this does happen to be that for you, dont see it as a representation of all of Krugs music, but merely as an extension of his capabilities.See this as proof of just how far Krug is willing to push his songcraft, how weird he can get, and how good it always ends up sounding. Here, Krug proves he can literally do as he pleases. Luckily, his eccentricities please him and his fans alike. All of this being said, if you dont like marimba, stay the hell away from this thing.