Sunday, June 10, 2012

King Tuff 'King Tuff'

Since 2006 Kyle Thomas has been releasing material as King Tuff alongside a variety of projects covering a spectrum of music styles in Feathers, Witch and Happy Birthday as well as touring with Hunx and His Punx. So, it's no wonder that his third solo album draws from a variety of inspirations to make his most eclectic record to date. King Tuff started to turn heads with second album 'Was Dead' (Colonel Records) in 2008 with his love of saccharine melodies, wild guitars and making songs that reach out to the listener and make you feel REALLY good. On this new album from Sub Pop King Tuff explores punk, folk and psychedelia with a full rock sound you might expect from Big Star with the finesse of a contemporary pop focus.

Opener "Anthem" wonderfully captures how King Tuff lets a guitar be a guitar, whilst embellished with effects the hi-fidelity recording quality on the record allows his tight skills and love of playing come through crystal clear. "Sing a love song, that rots in your head", he calls out amongst whirlwind guitars and hand-claps setting an uplifting tone for the album. There are two songs that I just can't get enough of on here, firstly "Stranger" -- an impish number by someone young, about being young, played out with guitars that prowl and strut, vocals that yip and yelp and jangly rhythms making this track a little burst of adrenaline. Secondly, "Baby Just Break" a carefree country inspired number that builds into a joyous explosion of pop. "Things were movin' a little too slow, so I did the opposite of what I know, and I went bustin' loose, straight into the blue", King Tuff sings in a heartfelt holler apace with layers of acoustic and electric guitars, vocals and forthright beats. Another brilliant element of the record is the art work made by King Tuff and Luke Thomas which look like interpretations of the songs featured on the album. I've said it once and I'll say it again about King Tuff, when something makes you feel this good there's no need to question it.

Find copies at Sub Pop

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