Mike Krol – Power Chords

Here we find an American musician and art designer from Los Angeles standing back and letting the world find his fourth collection of songs and wondering if we can feel his latest creating like an expectant father.

By Martin Frank

This writer reviews a lot of albums and I never know what I’m going to get when the email drops in with a name I’ve never heard of before. I usually set the system to play and wait for the first song to kick in, wondering what it’s going to be like. In all my years I’ve never been brought to tears as I have with this one and I totally felt the joy and chaos Mike has crafted here so casually. This is exactly the sort music that started my love affair with pop music.

Power Chords reminds me of my youth – it’s laced with great bouncing tunes that make me want to pogo. These songs make me want to scream and shout and make me wish that I was a teenager all over again. The tracks are short, hard and full of the fight of youth exploding everywhere, with Little Drama being a prime example. It’s a bit Ramoney, and sounds like good old punk n’ roll with a hint of Blondie – it’s pure old-fashioned gold.

I Wonder is another track with simple lyrics, and it’s a mind-blowing work of musical art that will confound and confuse the music business. It’s modern yet retro, and the critics won’t know what to do with it but if Mike Krol can can get the right audience then they’ll love this. This is an incredible collection of songs that will be played for years, either blasting out in all the right clubs or as background music to cool scenes in cool movies – there is so much talent here on so many levels. Old buggers like me can see exactly where he’s coming from and appreciate this homage to our youth, and he understands not just the musicality of this fantastic era but the carefree, couldn’t care less attitude that went with it. This feels easy yet not half-assed, and it takes real skill and an incredible effort to create such a genuine piece of original magic.

There are tracks here with false starts, and lyrics screamed into the mike with very solid echoes of Jilted John, The Damned, The Undertones, and even The Dead Kennedy’s. John Peel, bless his soul would love this album and I also loved the subtle overtones of americana that also permeate it. I never thought that the Americans understood the New Wave/Punk movement of the late Seventies but Mike has captured the feel and attitude of a time gone by perfectly to create this modern classic.