Tentative Decisions

Mikey Erg

Don Giovanni Records, 2016


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


To many reading this, the name Mikey Erg won't mean anything. To some, it will mean everything.

A drummer, guitarist, and singer from New Jersey, Erg has been a main player in punk bands like Star Fucking Hipsters, The Dopamines, The Unlovables, Worriers, Weston, Dirtbike Annie, Parasites, and probably most famously, The Ergs!. His first solo album my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Tentative Decisions assembles some help to illuminate the songs he's been playing solo with just a guitar and a mic.

“Faulty Metaphor” starts the album out at full throttle with a quick-paced garage rocker. It continues with the throbbing anthemic rocker “Boys & Girls, ” where a fun guitar solo is tossed in. We realize fairly quickly that this isn't merely an extension of the pop-punk genius of The Ergs!, although tunes like “(This Is Not) The First Time” aren't far off from that and are sure to appease any fan of snotty, foot-tappin', head-bobbin' Ramones styled punk. Meanwhile, others – like “Scenic Turnout” – contain moments not far off from harder guitar rock, and “Song For New Britain” is an XTC influenced highlight that would have Ted Leo drooling.

Mostly, though, Erg parallels the work of Paul Westerberg and Elvis Costello, with darker lyrical matter and often-introspective musings about loneliness like “1001 Smashed Motel Rooms.” Primarily a guitar and vocal listen, “An Abundance Of Julies” sounds like an alt-rocker that could have made waves on 120 Minutes in the early '90s, and at just over two minutes, it's the norm on this disc. But Erg closes the album with “NyQuil & Sudafed,” a nearly five minute fuzzed-out droner of sonic exploration.

Mikey Erg might be the most prolific musician ever in the area of punk rock, and the quality of his work hasn't declined a bit, as proven here. If you're a fan, you've no doubt already picked this up. If not, this is disc a great place to start.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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