Off the back of a somewhat underwhelming third album, MCIII, Mikal Cronin took to the Brudenell on Wednesday night with a five-piece band and newly cropped “2009 Bieber” hair.
Mikal Cronin has often adeptly blended eclectic arrangement of instruments with simple pop structures and hooks. This generally translated well live, no instrument was truly drowned out and Cronin’s vocals were loud and clear.
Cronin’s sound is pretty distinct but what undermines him as an artist is that his tracks often fuse into one another and grow too sonically similar. This was the major issue with his third album and was especially noticeable towards the start of the gig where Cronin rattled off much of his new material. It was only really when Cronin brought out singles from his second and best album, MCII, that there was really any change in tempo and there were grateful yelps from the crowd in response.
The highlight of this was ‘See It My Way’ which really drew all of Cronin’s strengths together, from the Ty Segall influenced fuzz of the guitar to the crashing piano. ‘Weight’ and ‘Shout It Out’ stood alongside as stand-outs from the night and it was the material from the second album that is most likely to linger in the memory.
Mikal Cronin is an artist that really could transform into something impressive someday, but to do this he needs to abandon the mimicry of his earlier work that plagued MCIII and evolve to re-inspire the freshness of his first two albums.