Mikal Cronin: s/t

Hailing from Laguna Beach, California surf and rock’n’roll fanatist Mikal Cronin takes you back to the 90’s with his refreshing mix of noise and garage with the typical surf-vibe of the Californian music scene. He already released the 7” Gone in 2010. Guest appearances from Ty Segall, with whom he collaborated already in 2009 releasing Reverse Shark Attack, John Dwyer and Mootheart makes the whole thing even more interesting and so his solo-debut was issued by Trouble In Mind records and dropped the market yesterday.

The album starts furious with Is It Alright, a nice surf-rock opener with many interestin tempo changes and a freaking awesome flute at the end that let me think about Audience or Jethro Tull. Apathy has positive borrowings of Oasis or something in that direction though Oasis wasn’t really interesting for me at all and they also can’t hit me with Beady Eye too, but back again to Mikal Cronin. Apathy is again full of noise and interesting things, heard it the third time through and I always found something new in his songs. On Green And Blue the vocals are absorbed behind a noisy guitar wall with some catchy gypsy minor, also a very intersting track. Get Along is some typical surf-rock track with that Californian brand mark I already mentioned before. Next song title Slow Down is very fitting, it’s an almost ambient keyboard track with relaxing Mikal Conin vox, nice discharger to get ready for the second half.

Gone and Situation are again surfy garage-rock tracks that bring back last feelings for warm temperatures and the beach. Again And Again repeates this scheme, though I liked this track much better than the previous few, again some tempo changes and interesting things to celebrate on this track, highlight. Hold On Me is a slower track in the style of Pavement and Dinosaur Jr. or Yuck, to name a newer example. And with The Way Thing Go we are already at the last track, seemed to be shorter which is a good thing. The last track is calm but powerful and effective and in my opinion one of the best on the album that turned into a faster direction after about three minutes and showed the garage and even punk influences for the last time. Another good idea was getting off-beat to the end to make it even more chaotic and let it all end into blank noise. Successfull!

This record came out of nothing but was so nice and refreshing in my opinion. Mentioned it already, it is on repeat and most of the songs are already stuck in my head and not seem to let me loose. I expected nothing else though because I already loved the Ty Segall collab. Check him out also if you want more of this style of music. I am excited to hear more of Mikal Cronin in the future and hope this wasn’t his last solo record. Hot new release!

  • 8.3/10

New Video: Bleached ‘Think Of You’

The Drums: Portamento

I am a bit late with my review to the new album Portamento by Brooklyn ‘indiepop meets post-punk’-band The Drums but I just forgot it. They name bands such as Joy Division or Orange Juice as their influences and the sound has the 80’s like post-punk feeling at it. Praised by magazines such as NME or Pitchfork as the ‘next big thing’ in Indie the real big success failed to appear. Although it ranged silver in the UK and peaked in several countries and I also liked their debut.

Portamento is the third physical release of them and the second long-play. It came out on Island Record September 2 in the UK. There was a previously released video of What You Here and single called Money. I really liked these two teasers and so I looked forward to listen to the new record. It starts budding with typical Drums-pace and that ‘sandy beach feeling’-rock’ they already showed on their very first EP Summertime. What I recognized is that they played more post-punk on Portamento. The two singles What You Here and Money and also the fifth track on the album Hard To Love affords a travel back to New Order’s Power, Corruption and Lies. I especially loved the awesome organ on Hard To Love. I had to laugh at Searching For Heaven because I didn’t know why that track made it to Portamento, it really did not fit to the other songs. Anyway, Please Don’t Leave Me and If He Likes It Let Him Do It were better but in my opinion this album lacks of highlights and the best songs are the two which were already released as singles and I also liked Days and Hard To Love. But all in all the songs just all sounded too much like the other songs on the album and what they already released in earlier records. You somehow drift away at half and don’t really listen anymore. There is simply too less outstanding stuff on Portamento except the few I mentioned. But I gave it a chance and listened it until the end and have to say the last two tracks turned out not as bad as I expected the end of an album I already gave up on.

So as I already said if you heard the singles there are just a few songs left to be excited to at Portamento. If you are new to the Drums give the older record a spin before you dare at this, you won’t be disappointed. As a confirmed Drums-listener I advise to listen to the first four or five songs and then skip to the last two tracks or you also choose one of the older records. At least that’s what I’d do.

  • 5.8/10

(Get Portamento here)

Wavves & Best Coast on ‘Nodding Off’

Nathan Williams and his band Wavves is going to publish their new Life Sux EP on September 20 through their own label Ghost Ramp. Now they released a second song off the EP. It features female-fronted Best Coast, not the first collaboration inter alia an EP Summer Is Forever. Listen to Nodding Off below.

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