Mike Krol // In Short

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It takes just 19 minutes for Mike Krol to rattle through the nine songs on his third album Turkey. But it’s hardly a turkey. Wild, yes, and as hard to pin down as the winged creatures that drive hunters wild in the woods of Virginia.

Amazingly, weighing in at a tidy 19 minutes Turkey represents his longest album yet. And despite Krol’s brevity he does cycle through an impressive range of topics, sounds, melodies and throwaway lines such as: “From this point on, I don’t care anymore.”

But I’m not buying that. So go hear for yourself Wednesday (October 29th) when Krol and his four-strong band take to the Shacklewell Arms stage in Dalston. Blink and you might miss it, but Krol’s set is guaranteed to give the club’s rickety PA a good run for its money. And if you ask nicely, he might even wear his special tassel-friendly cop outfit.

Leaving Milwaukee for Los Angeles, he took a few years’ worth of wrong turns. But when he showed up at a studio in Sacramento in March 2014, he finally had his shit together. With a knack for writing a sneering melody, Krol just kept writing songs and putting out records until he got signed by Merge Records.

“I never meant to be a one-man band,” Krol said during a recent radio interview. “I assembled a group of friends to help me on the road – it’s a collective of sorts. I write songs as a sort of therapy. Everything is true. I did it to feel good. I never had any desire to make it. That’s a testimony to being positive, trusting your gut and being nice to people.”

From the wonky swing of the echo-heavy Neighbourhood Watch to the raging double-speed riffs of This is the News, this is the sound of Krol channelling his wild, unbridled joy into a sweet punk tune nugget.

Which goes some way to explaining his love of both The Ramones and Weezer – both bands get a mention when we asked him the tough questions:

If I had to describe my music in 3 words, I’d use…
Short, catchy, and professionalish.

My favourite film ever is…
Jurassic Park.

The most famous person I’ve met is…
Jack Black

The song I hate the most is…
Happy Birthday

The worst job I’ve ever had is…
Concession stand vendor at a swimming pool

If I was in a tribute band it would be…
One that plays the first two Weezer albums

My favourite word is…
Crunchy

If I had a super power I’d want it to be…
The ability to play a guitar solo

If I could play a gig anywhere it would be…
On the set of any romantic comedy that has a dance scene

I think you should listen to…
Grandaddy

If I could see anyone play live it would be…
The Ramones circa 1976 at CBGB

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Mike Krol plays the Shacklewell Arms on October 29th