Dear Mike Krol,
I know this is going to seem cruel and unusual, especially as this is the first time I’ve written to you – but I sincerely hope you never find happiness. My wish for you is that all your hopes, dreams, desires and wants find themselves dashed upon the dusty ground.
You want love? No. You want life? Nuh-huh. You want happiness? Go home.
It’s your own fault.
The thing is, I liked your first three albums… Yes, your first three albums, I liked… And it’s fair to say that, taken on surface value alone, Power Chords does little to break from the classic Mike Krol template. All the elements that defined I Hate Jazz, Trust Fund and Turky are here… fuzz turned up to eleven, jacked up distortion, lack of filler, no flab, no big guitar solos.
But you seemed happier then and that gave all of these albums a kind of fuzzy, fun, lightweight charm. Instead, this time round you’ve tied the template to tales of disappointment and heartbreak and arguments and ambulances and oh my god it’s absolutely brilliant. Your new album Power Chords consists of 11 perfect off-kilter power(chord)pop gems. Stand out tracks such as ‘Little Drama’ (Dandelion Killers through a Strokes filter) or the Weezer-styled slacker charm of ‘Arrow In My Heart’ have shot, well, an arrow in my heart.
And you’ve gone epic! Don’t think I didn’t notice, you cheekster… Let’s talk about Mike Krol outstaying his welcome. Are you ready? Here goes: Outstaying your welcome is not a thing Mike Krol does. But you know this… While your previous records never clocked in at any longer than 19 minutes, Power Chords’ 33 minutes is the equivalent of building a skyscraper after previously only creating a couple of mud huts.
Power Chords is your masterpiece. I’m sorry you had to have a bad time to make this. I really am.
I hope things don’t get better soon.
Lots of love
Review by Peter Richard Adams