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Mikey Erg has played on A LOT of records. He has also toured extensively for the better part of two decades in literally countless bands. Itâs possible that not even Mikey himself could come close to listing them all. To start with, there is of course the band from which he gets his namesake: The Ergs!, New Brunswick, NJ basementsâ favorite sons, in which Mikey played drums, sang and was principle songwriter. Additionally, Mikey has played in, toured with and performed on records with Dirt Bike Annie, The Unlovables, The Dopamines, Star Fucking Hipsters, House Boat, Worriers, and even sat in with Weston at their recent reunion shows. Comedian and fellow Don Giovanni Records alum Chris Gethard pegged Mikey to play drums in the house band for his weirdo, fringe late night TV show, The Chris Gethard Show. Since the disbanding of the Ergs, Mikey has fostered a solo project that has kept him super busy performing Billy Bragg-style â just a mic and an electric guitar â all over the world.
Having played on numerous records, accompanying so many other artists on the drums, Tentative Decisions is the first true Mikey Erg solo effort. Itâs Mikey down to the nuts and bolts. Itâs also the first album of original material heâs released since The Ergs âUpstairs/Downstairsâ, 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 Mikeyâs 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. âMost of the songs were written in the latter half of last year,â Mikey says. âIt came together pretty quickly which I love. Everything about the record fell into place totally organically.â
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.
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 heâs released over the years.