MIKE KROL – ” Power Chords “

Posted: February 1, 2019 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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Fuzzy garage rock has rarely contained this much wistful heartache. The previous album from Los Angeles-based musician Mike Krol, 2015’s Turkey, clocked in at just 18 minutes, but packed in a year’s worth of rambunctious potency. His new record, “Power Chords”, clocking it at nearly double the length of its predecessor, feels almost indulgent in comparison, but with its added running time comes a bit more thematic focus. Power Chords is a distinctly ugly record, but that’s part of the appeal. Though its sonic palette isn’t wide-ranging by any means, Krol’s grubby rock is better when its knees are scraped, eyes are bloodshot and heart is ripped open. Krol risks overshadowing his angsty songs with his thick, Stroke-like vocal filters, but they bring this angst to life by adding a dimension of teenage nostalgia with its bedroom DIY feel. While the sonics can feel tiresome after a while, Krol ends on a high note with his extremely muddy cut, “The End,” which is nicely offset with a piercing synth interlude.

“Hold me close / Don’t ever let me go / Cause I’ve been waiting / All my life for the moment / To tell you so / With a couple power chords / I’m gonna let you know / That revenge is better / When you come from down below.”

That’s the chorus of the first song, “Power Chords,” on my new album of the same name, which is released into the world today. Touring for my previous album, “Turkey,” ended in December of 2015, and by February of 2016, I found myself without an apartment, without any money, and had just ended a 3 year relationship. I put all my belongings in a storage unit in Glassell Park, and got a one-way ticket to Wisconsin to move back in with my parents. I was 31. Completely disillusioned and frustrated with “music as a career,” I began searching for the spark of what made me excited about songs in the first place. I sat in my old childhood bedroom, with a guitar in hand, trying to fall in love with music again. Eventually I saved up enough money to move back to LA, got a new place to live, met new people, had new experiences, and slowly but surely I started to compile the songs that would make up this album.

Music is a crazy thing. It can make you feel a range of emotions within a few seconds. It can transport your mind instantly back to a person, a place, a time, or a memory, as soon as you hear the first notes. Find something that makes you feel invincible, that gives you hope, and changes your life. To quote my press release, “Music ruined Krol’s life. And then saved it. In chronicling that process, Krol has made his best record—painful, voyeuristic, and angry, but ultimately transcendent and timeless. It is the sound of Krol giving in to a force greater than himself, as though the chords are playing him rather than the other way around.”

Power Chords is much more lyrically mature and musically adept than your average garage rock record, and its teenage sheen might urge you to fanatically scroll the lyrics on your notebook or bedroom wall of choice.

“Power Chords” is OUT NOW on Merge Records:


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