Almost all features on Mikey Erg mention the crazy amount of punk bands he plays in – basically all of them. It’s not just that his musical output is insane, Mikey also is a passionate fan and student of music in general. He is the kind of person who flies to London just to hear an biographer give a two hour lecture on the Beatles’ Abbey Road. Still, the true north of his songwriting usually points toward pop punk or punk rock, although his superb recent solo records Tentative Decisions and Waxbuilt Castles tilted more towards early Elvis Costello and Superchunk.
Today, Mikey released his third solo record. With a visual homage to The Clash on its cover, the record sounds like a continuation of his 2020 Bon Voyage EP (one of my favorites of the year). If that EP was his self-proclaimed “love letter to pop punk,” this self-titled full length is another dispatch from his pop punk heart to our ears. At Punkrock Theory, Mikey explains how he had the titles of the songs before actually writing the songs – make sure to read his track-by-track commentary on that site. I am jealous how effortless Mikey’s songwriting feels on this record. He’s the kind of artist that inspires you to pick up your guitar and write your own songs, only to discover that it really takes skill to write songs this well. Just listen to the 1-2-3 punch of Rubin Hall, Hey Marissa, and Rumblestrip and you’ll see what I mean. I also love how Mikey on Can’t Be Too Careless and Going To Pasalacqua makes me reconnect with the feeling of hearing Green Day for the first time. Purchase now at Rad Girlfriend Records. You get seven insanely catchy modern pop punk classics, one solid Pearl Jam cover, one moody bathroom slow burner and one overly long noisy one.