Mike Krol

Agent: Mahmood Shaikh
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Of all the breakups in Mike Krol’s songs, the most harrowing story is about his breakup with music.

In 2015, coming off his best record yet and the ensuing world tour, Krol found himself in the midst of a full-blown existential crisis. He’d invested everything to create the rock-and-roll life he’d always wanted, but he wasn’t sure the life wanted him back.

Power Chords, Krol’s new Merge release, picks up where 2015’s Turkey left off. It traces Krol’s journey back to punk rock, harnessing both the guitar technique and the musical redemption referenced in its title. To rediscover the power in those chords, Krol recorded for two-plus years in three separate locations (Nashville, Los Angeles, and Krol’s native Wisconsin). The record opens in a howling maelstrom of feedback: welcome to Krol’s crucible. After a stage-setting spoken-word intro (“I used to never understand the blues, until the night I met you. And every day since, I’ve gotten better at guitar”), we find ourselves back in familiar Krol territory—aggressive and assertive, scratchy and raw, catchy as hell—but something has changed. The sounds have a new density—and so do the stories. Krol’s lyrics have always walked a fine line between self-acceptance and self-destruction, but throughout Power Chords, they reveal a new sense of self-awareness. “Without a little drama I grow bored and sick of all my days,” he sings on “Little Drama,” and it’s just one revelatory moment on a record full of them.

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Of course, none of this is to say that Krol has mellowed. You might find a mea culpa or two, but Mike Krol will never be chastened. If anything, he’s out more for revenge than forgiveness, and if he’s grown, it’s because he’s grown bolder. He’s wielding the same influences—Misfits, The Strokes, early Weezer, Ramones—but turning up the gravity and the gain. Indeed, Krol has gone somewhere new; yes, he bludgeoned himself with over-analysis and self-loathing, but along the way he stumbled upon a trove of intricate guitar lines and artfully mutating melodies. It’s there in the chorus of “Blue and Pink,” the bridge in “I Wonder,” the entirety of the deliriously infectious first single, “An Ambulance.”

Music ruined Krol’s life. And then saved it. In chronicling that process, Krol has made his best record—painful, voyeuristic, and angry, but ultimately transcendent and timeless. It is the sound of Krol giving in to a force greater than himself, as though the chords are playing him rather than the other way around.

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Mike Krol Downloads:

Mike Krol on Tour:

Date City Location Venue

Fri, 19 Jul 2019

PHOENIX

AZ

VALLEY BAR

Sun, 21 Jul 2019

AUSTIN

TX

BARRACUDA

Tue, 23 Jul 2019

BIRMINGHAM

AL

SATURN

Wed, 24 Jul 2019

ASHEVILLE

NC

THE MOTHLIGHT

Fri, 26 Jul 2019

CARRBORO

NC

CAT'S CRADLE BACK ROOM

Sat, 27 Jul 2019

ATLANTA

GA

THE EARL

Sun, 28 Jul 2019

NASHVILLE

TN

THE BASEMENT

Mon, 29 Jul 2019

LOUISVILLE

KY

ZANZABAR

Wed, 31 Jul 2019

RICHMOND

VA

RICHMOND MUSIC HALL

Thu, 1 Aug 2019

PHILADELPHIA

PA

BOOT & SADDLE

Fri, 2 Aug 2019

PHILADELPHIA

PA

PhilaMOCA

Sat, 3 Aug 2019

JERSEY CITY

NJ

WHITE EAGLE HALL

Sun, 4 Aug 2019

HAMDEN

CT

SPACE BALLROOM

Mon, 5 Aug 2019

SOMERVILLE

MA

ONCE BALLROOM

Tue, 6 Aug 2019

PORTSMOUTH

NH

3S ARTSPACE

Wed, 7 Aug 2019

BURLINGTON

VT

ARTSRIOT

Fri, 9 Aug 2019

MONTREAL

QUEBEC

LA VITROLA

Sat, 10 Aug 2019

OTTAWA

ONTARIO

THE DOMINION TAVERN

Sun, 11 Aug 2019

TORONTO

ONTARIO

HORSESHOE TAVERN

Mon, 12 Aug 2019

GRAND RAPIDS

MI

PYRAMID SCHEME

Wed, 14 Aug 2019

CLEVELAND

OH

ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME

Thu, 15 Aug 2019

CHICAGO

IL

LINCOLN HALL

Fri, 16 Aug 2019

DAVENPORT

IA

RACCOON HOTEL

Sat, 17 Aug 2019

KANSAS CITY

MO

THE RIOT ROOM - OUTDOOR STAGE

Mon, 19 Aug 2019

ALBUQUERQUE

NM

SISTER

Tue, 20 Aug 2019

FLAGSTAFF

AZ

THE GREEN ROOM