Mikal Cronin isn't totally new -- he's been playing with Ty Segall and Moonhearts for years -- but he's new to living in San Francisco, and his debut album is very, very new: It's out today on Trouble in Mind. If you like garage-damaged guitar pop, we'd bet a tall boy of Tecate that you'll find pleasure in it. But just in case you still don't believe us after that massive wager, here are seven things to like (if not love!) about Cronin's megafresh 10-song debut:
1. First single "Apathy" is an earworm six-string explosion that goes down surprisingly easy.
If the world was just, this would be on rock radio.
2. He got Thee Oh Sees' John Dwyer to play flute on album opener "Is It Alright."
Right after they ate a taco. And Dwyer's not bad at the flute -- he sounds just like the madman John Dwyer you know, but coming through a pretty woodwind.
3. Ty Segall plays most of the drums.
Cronin often plays bass in Segall's live band, so Segall -- who used to be known for his one-man-band shtick -- pounded the cans for Cronin's recording. They sound heavy.
4. His first name is pronounced like "Michael."
Say it now with confidence.
Cronin has played the sax since he was 10, and his songwriting imagines brass as well as string parts. He couldn't do all that on the debut, but there's a surprising sax solo at the end of "Apathy" that will give you an idea what he's capable of -- and why we expect more good things from this guy.
6. Cronin captures the glorious exploding fuzz-pedal mess you love about Ty Segall, Sic Alps, and Thee Oh Sees.
Armageddon from a tube amp, mind-melting soundwave chaos, too freaked to live, etc.
7. But if you don't love the sound of electric guitars dying, Cronin's punchy hooks, acoustic chords, and melodic songwriting will probably win you over.
Hear "Get Along" and "Hold on Me," below.