I have had friends whose taste in music that I implicitly trust sing the praises of Mike Krol for years. I've dipped my toe in a few times over the years and I have to admit, I've just never quite gotten it. I think it's been the fuzz on the vocals more than anything else. Despite that, in the run up to the release of Power Chords I once again started hearing the Krol buzz. I decided to give it another go and what do you know, it stuck this time.
Power Chords is a big fat pop record. It's built on incredible hooks and vocal melodies. While I still would like it if the distortion on the vocals was toned down a bit, this time out I feel like it has a little bit more in common with The Marked Men and less tied into the sort of static I associate with Nobunny. While the tempo of most of this album isn't as fast as the frenzy that The Marked Men are known for, Mike Krol has crafted an album that is every bit as catchy.
The ones I tend to like the most are the songs that may not be the fastest, but they are the ones with the biggest choruses. "An Ambulance" is probably my favorite of the bunch with a singalong melody that I'm definitely guilty of muttering to myself while at work or the supermarket. "Left For Dead" is another smash hit, with its stutter-stop opening that launches into a downstroke heavy chord progression that eventually gives way to another incredibly catchy chorus.
In a lot of ways I'm actually relieved that I like Power Chords as much as I do. I always wondered what others saw in Mike Krol that I didn't see. Now that I've finally made the connection, I think it might be time to re-listen to some of the other records that I passed on originally.
Mike Krol - Power Chords: