Conceived and recorded as a sort of therapy to help cope with adjusting to post-college life, an ensuing break-up and geographic isolation Mikal Cronin steps momentarily away from the rhythm section of Orange County surf-punk bashers, The Moonhearts with his debut solo album.
Fans can take heart, this isn’t a ‘vanity project’ or half-baked endeavour – Mikal’s solo debut is fully realized, cohesive and beautiful. With themes that are personal as they are universal; questioning the future, accepting the past and living in the moment.
Taking influences such as the late sixties Del Shannon and The Everly Brothers and filtering them through his own mutant Californian fuzz, Mikal deftly explores his singer-songwriter side that at moments feel like a punk Harry Nilsson or Curt Boettcher – balancing sweet melodies and chords with chunky, psychedelic guitar freakouts. Don’t let the opening Beach Boys harmonies of ‘It’s Alright?’ fool you into thinking this record can be easily pinned down.
With long time friend and collaborator, Ty Segall producing, Eric Bauer (Ty Segall, Royal Baths) running the tape machine and guest like John Dwyer of Thee Oh Sees, you can be sure you’re in for something special. Once those guitars kick in, and you hit the first transcendent chorus, you’ll be hooked and anxiously awaiting what comes next.
Cronin stretches his legs to record a clean, ridiculously catchy song with tons of layers. It’s the full scale of things that makes ‘Apathy’ so great — the harmonies, the song structuring, the piles of instruments, but mostly, the anxious feeling that’s strung throughout the song. It’s a song with a lot to grab onto, and it’s a killer introduction to Cronin as a solo artist. — Pitchfork
The record packs a huge whollop in its three-minute garage-pop punches. Scraping its way through fuzz, jangle, slow burn motions and even a few psychedelic breakdowns, the record is nothing if not infectious; opening itself up wider with each play. In the truest sense of the word this is just a good record, one that’s quickly jumping up our best of 2011 list and one that’s not likely to leave the turntable soon. — Raven Sings the Blues
Cronin is one of those artists that barely appear to be trying, yet every element is executed so naturally that you can tell this is really the result of a lifetime studying what rock ‘n’ roll is all about. — RCRD LBL
Part Everly Brother, part feedback overlord. — Uncut