Mikal Cronin (Moonhearts, Ty Segall) surprised some fans with his unabashed affection for '60s-style pop on his self-titled 2011 debut. Known for his hand in creating loud and grimy garage rock in those collaborations, Cronin stretches out to some pop-friendly territory when he's on his own. Though the noise factor makes frequent appearances, it's usually in the form of a clear melody or in colorful bursts between sweeter slabs of sounds. The first track, "Weight" throws open the doors to MCII with a familiar blast of scuzz-toned guitars. But they have a sunny disposition, and Cronin's melodic vocals sail breezily above the inarguably pretty, stripped-down bridges. The jangly guitar and semi-sweet violin on "Peace of Mind" veer near '70s pop-radio territory, while "Turn Away" pulls off the unlikely feat of blending '90s post-grunge and power pop. Cronin is a one-man band here, with visits paid by friends from Thee Oh Sees, Moonhearts, and Ty Segall himself, but MCII never feels myopic or lacking in ideas. Cronin is a force to watch.

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