Power Chords

Mike Krol

Merge Records, 2019


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


When listening to Mike Krol's fourth album, Power Chords, there is just no indication that this Wisconsin native and Los Angeles resident had recently been questioning his future in the music industry. Fortunately, after some self-evaluation, Krol is back, reinvigorated, and ready to pump out punk fueled guitar songs that retain a garage rock spirit to the highest degree. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The album starts with the title track “Power Chords,” and true to its name we get forceful strumming and giant fuzzed out sounds packed with swells of melody. “What's The Rhythm” follows and trims the pace back a bit, while still being a loud tune with a healthy percussion, and this flows right into the melodic garage rocker “An Ambulance,” where feisty rhythm really captures the mood.

The middle of the listen offers the darker, punky “Little Drama,” which would appeal to fans of The Misfits, while “Left For Dead” moves at a blistering pace with a raging guitar solo from Sean Lango. Though Krol provides vocals on the entire affair, “I Wonder” brings in Allison Crutchfield for some vocal harmonies amid the roaring hooks and mammoth riffs.

After many tunes of swift, calculate fury, Krol slows things down a bit on “Wasted Memory,” which brings in organs, and the pianos of “Arrow In My Heart” offer some variety against the guitar focused affair.

Though your local hipster and aging punk with the faded Husker Du shirt may not know who Mike Krol is yet, my guess is that his balancing act between noise and harmony here will make him a fan of those who enjoy The Strokes, Dinosaur Jr., Weezer, and The Stooges. While he may have been beat up a bit by the music industry as of late (check the cover art for a black eye), Krol has bounced back with a monster of an album here.

Rating: A-

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© 2019 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Merge Records, and is used for informational purposes only.