Mikal Cronin, 'MCIII'
Even if you haven’t, you’ve pretty much heard the first twelve seconds of Mikal Cronin‘s newest song, “ii) Gold”. But not in a tired or trite way. It’s more that the pushy riff and swell of feedback are so damn certain sounding that they serve as a recognizable heads-up for the breakneck fervor to come, like a trigger warning for the rock ‘n’ roll weary, or something.

“ii) Gold” sounds different than a lot of Cronin’s lighter material, namely about twelve seconds into the song when you realize you may or may not have had your speakers way too loud. It’s very fast and the guitar is very loud — interspersed with an almost My Bloody Valentine-esque wail. The song favors momentum over the sonic clarity that marks some of his other music. But about 50 seconds in the chorus punches through, unexpected and pretty, floating in and out of falsetto. It’s definitely a relief but still a little nervous sounding, giving the impression that this song is better at frantically check-listing musical scenarios than it is at patience. And if the verse/chorus onrush weren’t enough, there’s a threatening and serious sounding outro led by a tzouras, a Greek string instrument. These few parts of the song are laid out in such a flash that they feel less like narrative and more like a grouping disparate and coinciding moods. And this restlessness is probably the song’s most exciting aspect, bouncing from the textural locomotive of a verse to the wistful chorus; it sounds like the result of having a lot of musical ideas to articulate and not enough time.

The song follows the first single, “Made My Mind Up”, and both will be on Cronin’s upcoming third album MCIII, out May 5 on Merge. Cronin, who is now living in LA, is playing a string of dates surrounding the release, kicking it all off with a show at the Independent on April 22.

Mikal Cronin
The Independent
April 22, 2015
7:30pm, $16-18 (+21)