This ‘Mike Krol’ article was written by Nick Roseblade, a GIGsoup contributor
Lo-fi is on the rise. It appears that an entire generation of musicians are fed up with over produced, auto tuned songs that all sound the same. Mike Krol’s third album Turkey is the antidote to this. Everything about it is in way in the red. The guitars are distorting to the point where you can’t really tell what’s being played. The drums, like Zool, are compressed from the Nth degree. The bass sounds like its being fired out of a can of silly spring, and Krol’s vocals are somewhere between guttural drawls and nasal shrieks.
One thing that isn’t compromised by these biscuit tin recording and production techniques are the songs. They’re filled with catchy hooks and delightful melodies. Suburban Wasteland and Neighbour Watch paint the picture of living in suburbia, walking about, seeing friends and generally making the best of it. We’ve all heard it before, but the honesty of Krol’s lyrics make this sound like the first time it’s been written about. Left Out is a ditty about social alienation and not fitting into a certain scene, and going off and creating your own one. This is the News is about telling someone you’re committed to them 100%, and Cactuses is best track about cacti since Jacques Dutronc. The album closed with the poignant Piano Shit. A daintily mournful piano is played until Krol says “I didn’t sign up for this shit”. It’s a fitting end to a short blast of lo-fi indie punk.
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At just shy of twenty minutes Turkey is about as tight and lean as it gets. Any superfluous material and notes have been stripped off and all we’re left, in athletic terms, is a match fit album that doesn’t stop until it wins the 100m in less than 8 seconds. This is an album that not only demands repeat listens, but delivers every single time. Want to get obsessed about a new album? You could do a lot worse than picking this, you turkey!
‘Turkey’ is out now on Merge Records