Mikey Erg - Waxbuilt Castles LPDon Giovanni Records
Out July 26th on Don Giovanni Records, Waxbuilt Castles is the second full-length solo album by New Jerseys Mikey Erg. As the drummer and principal songwriter in The Ergs! and at least a dozen other bands, Erg has as sturdy a set of pop-punk bona fides as youre likely to find. Waxbuilt Castles is a departure, though. Recorded in collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Alex Clute -- who performed with Erg in The Chris Gethard Shows house band -- its a set of songs that takes its central inspiration from the melodicism and craft of 70s pop rock. In their production and arrangement, the songs emulate Ergs pre-punk musical heroes -- ELO, Elvis Costello, Phil Ochs, and especially the Beatles. I really wanted to make my version of Paul McCartneys first record, explains Erg. Homemade and very loose. Not too overthought. Getting there took a bit of adjustment on Ergs part. As a singer, he had to reconcile with hearing his voice in a quieter and more vulnerable context. It was funny to have to rethink the way I sang a lot of the songs, says Erg. Alex would say, Youre singing too forcefully, calm it down a bit. I had to get used to hearing my voice without this white noise behind it, masking it. Lyrically, though, its a Mikey Erg record through and through. Theyre the same type of songs that Ive been writing forever -- about relationships. Juts simple, personal songs, says Erg. Thats the through line, I feel. No matter what the record sounds like, its the same exact songs that Ive been doing. Its the thing that Im most proud of. That I can make a different sounding record, but that it still goes together. That is can all fit in the same box.