Here’s the last release from a recent batch sent by Don Giovanni Records. It’s the latest album by singer-songwriter Mikey Erg, who was also a drummer for a New Jersey pop-punk band, The Ergs. Love At Leeds is the first fully analog release by Mikey Erg, recorded and mastered by legendary Steve Albini, famous for working with Nirvana, Pixies, PJ Harvey, Jimmy Page & Robert Plant, etc. For this particular release, Mikey Erg teamed with Jeff Rosenstock, Alex Clute & Lou Hanman, musicians who collaborated with him on a Tentative Decisions LP. Love At Leeds sounds excellent from start to finish, and Mikey Erg proves once again why he’s one of the best singer-songwriters today.
For those familiar with Mikey Erg’s works, Love At Leeds represents a natural progression of an artist that never ceases to amaze. Those stumbling upon this creative musician for the first time might expect ten wondrous compositions packed in something more than 25 minutes of ear-appealing pop-punk music. However, don’t expect the modern, overly produced, bland pop-punk sound explored by many contemporaries nowadays. Mikey Erg nurtures the pop-punk sound of the seventies, eighties, and nineties, but also, don’t be surprised if you stumble upon some of the best properties of power pop, indie rock, garage rock, grunge, and melodic punk rock. Each element is thoroughly combined to fit this sonic equation, and you’ll have a hard time picking your favorite tracks, mainly because each one sounds incredible.
Mikey tried to achieve a slightly grungier sound with this record, so it resonates with powerful, raw, abrasive, dirty, fuzzy chord progressions, riffs, melodies, harmonies, and themes. Of course, Steve Albini helped a lot with his experience and skills, but nothing would sound this good without the massive sonic output of the entire band. Therefore, if you’re a fan of Erg’s cleaner/polished records, Love At Leeds might not be up your alley, but that’s only because of the different producing/mastering approach. His music still resonates with those energetic verses and catchy choruses we all had a chance to listen to on his previous records. I find Love At Leeds more appealing to my ears than some of his older recordings, but that’s because I grew up with dirty-sounding punk rock records. This album sounds excellent from beginning to end, and each number offers many sonic delicacies ready to be discovered by the pop-punk fans out there. I advise you to check it out and decide for yourself because there’s a big chance Love At Leeds will end up as your favorite album this year. Head to Don Giovanni Records for more information about ordering this pop-punk gem.