Garage Rock Takes a Bigger Stage at SXSW with Mike Krol at the Helm The Impassioned Chaos Of Mike Krol’s Set At Mohawk Was Too Much For The Venue To Handle
AUSTIN, TX- One of the more chaotic and musically aggressive acts that I saw during SXSW 2019 came on my third day in Austin at the Mohawk indoor stage from an artist by the name of Mike Krol. Originally a D.I.Y. artist out of Madison, Wisconsin, Krol has been around for quite some time but only signed to a label in 2015 and has released two original records since then called Turkey and most recently Power Chords. His genre of music can best be described as garage band rock. It’s heavy on the treble and reverb, with the electric guitar sounds piercing your eardrums, but in the best way possible.
When Krol came on stage with his band the first thing I noticed was that they were all donning make-up representing bruises, black-eyes, and bleeding heads. I later realized that the reason behind it was an allusion to Power Chords and the violent emotional pain that’s heard throughout the album’s music and lyrics. The performance in itself felt as though you were getting beat up quite honestly. Krol cranked up the speakers and the amplifiers, turned off the lights and as his band kicked it into gear a pair of strobe lights began illuminating the stage. The loudness, the seizing effects, and the distorted vocals quite literally expressed the album’s title throughout the entire set.
Unfortunately the lackluster equipment of the indoor stage at Mohawk wasn’t entirely prepared to handle such acoustics and at one point the band blew out one of the speakers. That’s how crazy this was. However, what stood out the most to me amongst the chaos was Mike Krol’s impassioned singing. Each note was expressed as if coming directly from his soul. The distorted and scratchy microphone effect only added to the misery that he was signing about.
Despite the theme of his performance, Mike Krol actually put on a very fun set to watch and listen to. He was energetic and rambunctious on stage, jumping around as much as he physically could in such a small space which in turn made the audience want to go crazy as well. There was head banging and hair whipping throughout the entire show, it was just impossible not to join in. Power Chords is available to stream on all platforms and I’d recommend you check it out if you want to let loose a little…or a lot.