Thursday, September 22

Record Review: Mikal Cronin [S/T, Trouble In Mind]

by Jennfer Graciano
Mikal Cronin shifts gears on his debut self-titled as he reins in the rowdy half-hazard punk of the Moonhearts to a cleaner and exciting sound. Album opener "Is It Alright" is all over the place and opens up with some of the sweetest cooing I've heard in garage rock. When I say it's all over the place, I mean this track alone could fit into a multitude of genres, a theme that plays out through the album. Thee Oh Sees' John Dwyer lays some sweet flute on this one. But like any instrument Dwyer touches, puts his own zeal and churns out a flute on speed. Like a renaissance faire without the dull whimsy.

There's a decent dose of energy that can only be expected from a Moonhearts member. Both "Apathy" and "Gone" are swear-worthy awesome; searing guitars and killer percussion that would make for a great live set. "Green & Blue" sounds like the discarded bits of the album put together--I quite like it. Granted, a lot of this album sounds like a jam session. Charlie Moonheart heads up the drums on "Get Along," and I simply cannot listen to this one enough. If this cut doesn't get you on your feet, nothing will. 

"Situation" and "Again and Again" are slower jangly cuts, and despite their lack of roughhousing rock, are light singsong bangers. "Hold On Me" has me wondering where the sock hop is taking place and if this is Cronin's formal invitation. There's something endearing about Mikal Cronin's voice; something in those vocals singed with a lazy Californian 'tude draws you in. The man can sing, I'll give him that.

This isn’t your run-of-the-mill fuzzy garage-rock album, it’s too personal for that. Ten tracks that play off the same themes while sounding totally different. Smoother transitions would have done this album some good as certain track shifts were disarming; regardless, you’re still left wanting more from Cronin as the record ends. A proper solo effort from Cronin that doesn't seek to stretch its abilities.



  1. you know what? you have a great blog here. keep going. the writing is spot-on and totally justifies the blogging medium. a little pitchfork heavy, but they're decent picks... i'm a fan

  2. Thanks man, really appreciate the comment. We'll be back soon