A garage rock revivalist with a snide and sizable sense of humor, Mike Krol plays revved-up, overdriven rock & roll dominated by big, buzzy guitars and his tales of life in the real world that are by turns hilarious and deeply personal. Originally a strictly D.I.Y. artist, Krol issued a pair of low-budget projects, I Hate Jazz and Trust Fund, that captured his sound at its most primal and chaotic and earned him a potent cult following. The buzz about Krol led to him strike a deal with indie label Merge, though a somewhat higher budget and better distribution didn't sap the energy or sloppy wisdom of 2015's Turkey or 2019's Power Chords.
Krol was raised in Madison, Wisconsin. He began playing his older brother's drum kit when he was seven years old, and would later play percussion in his school band. While in high school, Krol borrowed an electric guitar from a friend and taught himself to play, adopting a style that had more to do with force than finesse. Influenced by pop, punk, and indie bands ranging from the Ramones, the Kinks, and Cheap Trick to Superchunk, Guided by Voices, and Weezer, Krol began writing songs and playing with a variety of bands as he moved back and forth between the Midwest and East Coast, while working a number of unglamorous jobs. Eventually, Krol pulled up stakes and moved to the West Coast, working a day job as a graphic designer, which included work for bands like Icarus Himself and Sleeping in the Aviary. Michael Sienkowski, drummer for Sleeping in the Aviary, joined Krol's band part-time and appeared on his debut EP, I Hate Jazz, which was released on Counter Counter Culture in 2011 and featured Krol playing many of the instruments himself. The same label issued his LP Trust Fund in 2013.
After Trust Fund, Krol's music was getting noticed by a handful of fans and critics, and Merge was impressed enough with his output to sign him to a record deal, issuing the album Turkey in 2015. A world tour followed, with Krol backed by members of Tickle Torture, Sleeping in the Aviary, and They Live Exclamation Point. In 2017, Merge released Mike Krol Is Never Dead: The First Two Records, a collection that brought together the material from I Hate Jazz and Trust Fund as well as a handful of demos and outtakes. In January 2019, Krol returned with another blast of witty but angsty pop-flavored garage punk, Power Chords. ~ David Jeffries & Mark Deming