Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Justin Mikulka is a one man self musicating kind of man. Under the guise of False Positive, Mikulka attempts to do it all with just a little bit of help from his friends on odd things like violins and the like. His self titled album, then,is a collection of his writing and music in raw, ramshackle form that's like bedsit pop gone to bed with the Television Personalities, a goth, and the White Stripes.
False Positive is a record with many faces and aspects to it. It's the kind of record that's trying to pack too much information into too small of a space. It's all over the place, reckless, and at times pretty darn good. With hints of Sarah Records shyness, hits of manic depressiveness, and a bit of rock and roll scattered through out, False Positive really offers something for everyone. That being said, this is not for everyone. There are moments on this record, where you'll wonder whether or not the boy is OK...he seems so down, and beat up you half wonder if this is going to be his first and last record. On the other hand, there are moments that are like rays of filtered sunshine shining on a TASCAM four track like it was a message from God. These moments are by far the best and even though they sound as they were recorded over spliced pieces of tape, there's a lot of heart and soul in those songs. "Strike Up The Band," is a perfect example as the horns, and choir, chime in on one gigantic chorus that will give you goosebumps. It's honest to God great lo-fi pop that's as optimistic as it gets.
There's loads of potential on FalsePositive and you can here this all over the record. Mikulka has his moments here and there and when he does you want to rush him into a huge studio with a big name producer and let him go wild. From the raw, unpolished, nearly White Stripes rock of, "Lament of the Theological Janitors," to the lo-fi jangle of "Teaching Sorrows," if you gave Mikulka a budget this guy would seriously be dangerous. As it stands, False Positive is a charming record of dilapidated pop that yearns to be something more...much more.