Having played on numerous records, accompanying so many other artists on the drums, Tentative Decisions is the first true Mikey Erg solo effort. It’s Mikey down to the nuts and bolts. It’s also the first album of original material he’s released since The Ergs “Upstairs/Downstairs”, nearly ten years ago. The familiar, second-generation Ramones worship is in tact, which will satisfy the diehard fans hoping against hope that Mikey will get the old band back together. But there are nuanced touches that make Tentative Decisions wholely unique in the canon of Mikey’s prolific output. Moments that touch on almost Celtic and British folk influences in their melodic structure act to refine the blaring down-stroked power chords and driving mid-tempo pop punk drum patterns. “Most of the songs were written in the latter half of last year,” Mikey says. “It came together pretty quickly which I love. Everything about the record fell into place totally organically.”
The album was produced by Jeff Rosenstock who last year, produced albums by Laura Stevenson, The Smith Street Band, and Dan Andriano of The Alkaline Trio. There are sonic elements at play that any Bomb The Music Industry! fan would be able to clearly identify as Rosenstock-esque, with thick fuzzed out guitar leads that bend and threaten to fall out of key, but then right themselves just in time.
For a musician with as many notches in his belt as Mikey Erg, it can be difficult to determine the impact of, and weigh the meaning behind each particular release. But Tentative Decisions is the closest thing you can get to an unaltered Mikey expression, maybe even moreso than some of the most celebrated albums he’s released over the years. The album comes out June 24, 2016 on Don Giovanni Records.
June 24, 2016