MIKAL CRONIN – ‘MCII’

mikalcronin_mciiMIKAL CRONIN – ‘MCII’
His self titled debut was all about endings and the music reflected the mood in a way.  This follow up is a huge leap forward for a man who’s embraced change and seen his stylistic musings shift from muddled and confused, to mature and positive about the future.  Taking a lead from Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust years, Cronin has taken to more instrumentation in the writing process and development of his music; welcoming a more structured and well thought out power to his songs.  So to compliment the usual wild acoustic strumming and fuzzed-out freak-ery, he’s presenting deep outpourings on problems, situations and relationships he’s never encountered before; dissecting fears, managing his demons.  Ingredients you might say for low slung and down beat Rock, but where others might dive straight to the bottom, Cronin looks for a way out through effervescent slacker grunge-pop reminiscent of early Meat Puppets and Green Mind-era Dinosaur Jr.  With a heady mix of ivory-driven ballads and swathes of jingle-jangle guitar, tracks such as ‘Shout It Out’ and ‘Am I Wrong’ fuse pretty harmonies with almost cathartic caterwauling.  It’s on ‘See It My Way’ and the affirmative ‘Change’ where Cronin slips back into his familiar Garage-Rock wetsuit; knockin out a solo to make J Mascis green with envy and sounding more schizophrenic than ever.  MCII is measurably more mature than his debut and after the turmoil of his recent times, new complexity, new sounds and new dilemmas usually equal new fund ambition.  And that’s exactly what we’re witnessing here.  (8)
STEVE FLETCHER

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