Mike Krol is a Los Angeles-based art designer by trade. He has contributed his talents to releases from Madison bands Sleeping in the Aviary and Icarus Himself. His work with these bands has had its rewards: the drummer for Sleeping in the Aviary, Michael Sienkowski, plays for him. His own releases feature extremely detailed designs. Trust Fund is his new record.
“Cease and Desist” begins with a stop and start frolicking that yields to a distorted bass-propelled 6/8 pattern. Organ eventually joins as he sings “I’ll forgive and forget when I am dead/ I’m still mad about what you said to me”. The chorus begins with solo guitar as he sings, “I’m sending you a cease and desist in my heart/ its all your fault and everybody knows it.” The whole band kicks in as Mr. Krol sings, “You made a fool of me from the start/ and I’m so blind I never coulda seen it”. Highlights of “Modern Furniture” are its elated whoos and high-frequency soloing. “Locker” starts with a humming organ. Krol sings, “I’m walking home again/ Same time, same story, same everything/ everything”. A tuneful melody transitions to the chorus, “Put my picture in your locker/ So that you know it’s true”. The song returns to the verse; this time an energetic bass melody compliments the singing. The song comes to a bridge featuring a laser beam-sounding effect as the song ends on the chorus.
“Teeth Grinder” begins more relaxed than previous songs as a blaring guitar powered section comes to the forefront. “Straaange” is another spirited number that features a roaring guitar melody. On it Krol sings, “And I don’t care what you’re saying/ I am going to do it my own way.” “Fourth of July” begins with a satisfying bass melody and turns into a minimal verse on which he sings, “Small town America/ is where I want to be/ we’ll have a big parade/ and line the flags down the street.” After a brief chorus the songs returns to the minimal verse. This concedes to the bass melody again and the songs comes to a breakdown in which Krol sings, “My favorite holiday/ is the fourth of July/ and when the sun goes down/ we’re gonna make the sparks fly.” On the last syllable the songs transitions to a feedback-powered jam. “Keith Moon” ends the album on a calm note. A stirring melody precedes the lines, “I was gonna be Pete and you were going to be Keith Moon/ when I said I love you it was just much too soon.” The song ends with a chorus in which Krol states, “I would rather have a friend/ than have a muse.”
Mike Krol’s music is dynamic to say the least. His designs are as good if not better than his music. It is exciting to see and hear what he will do next.