Published Jan 22, 2019If you're considering listening to an album called Power Chords, you probably know what's in store. From the get-go, Mike Krol and company's latest is truth in advertising: fuzzy, catchy, chord-riddled rock. The licks are loud and frequent, the choruses are snappy and filled with hooks, and if at least one of these songs doesn't dig its way into your head for a day, there's a good chance you're not a lot of fun.
Realistically, there's nothing on Power Chords that hasn't been done before, either by Krol on past albums Trust Fund and Turkey, or by his many contemporaries. The "sunny disposition with a sneer" that epitomizes so many West coast bands is apparent throughout, paired with the bouncy, rattle-your-bones style of groups like Harlem and White Reaper. Rhythm guitar parts on tracks like "An Ambulance" and "Little Drama" sound like they were ripped from Albert Hammond Jr.'s old notebook, and at times Krol's vocals border on Jay Reatard-level zaniness.
Yet despite sounding like an album that could have just as easily come out in 2009 as 2019, it's a testament to the timelessness of Power Chords' sound rather than an indication of its tedium. You could argue Krol isn't pushing boundaries with his songwriting, that Power Chords is a been-there-done-that kind of album, and maybe you'd be right. But Krol and the band prove that being "there" and doing "that" can still be just as much fun as it ever was. (Merge)