King Tuff has taken a number of years off since the release of eir debut album, Was Dead. The 12 tracks on this self-titled follow-up come forth as an evolutionary step forward. Anthem is a jangly, psychedelic-tinged track that is haunting in its overall feel. The drums are right up front with the super-sonic vocals, making for something that is inimitable. Alone & Stoned provides listeners with additional speed, tying the angular rock of acts like The Cars to a much earlier musical tradition.
Ultimately, a fan of Buzzcocks or (very) early GG Allin will be able to appreciate easily what King Tuff has placed onto this disc. Rather than letting that pigeonhole the act, King Tuff spins off in an entirely new direction with subsequent efforts. Loser’s Wall slows things up and brings listeners a blend of equal parts Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, and Bachman-Turner Overdrive. The down and dirty guitars match perfectly with the vocals, putting a dash of blues alongside the Detroit rock achieved with the rest of the arrangements. Stupid Superstar is another trip back to an earlier form of music.
This time, King Tuff takes on the bands of the Athens (GA) scene back in the formative years of the mid-80s. King Tuff is an act that wears all influences on eir sleeve. What results is something completely unique and special; I feel that each of the tracks works in current music despite having a firm mooring in these earlier rock styles. Make sure to pick up a copy of the King Tuff album at your local well-stocked independent music store, or grab a copy online from a number of retailers.
Top Tracks: Alone & Stoned, Baby Just Break
King Tuff – S/T (CD) / 2012 Sub Pop Records / 12 Tracks / http://www.subpop.com