King Tuff – King Tuff (Sub Pop)

There’s nothing like being a teenager. Nothing quite like being young and breaking your first bone, smoking  weed for the first time, stacking on a skateboard or getting wasted on cheap, nasty vodka stolen from your dad’s booze cabinet… or even finding that stack of old porn in the woods. It seems as though King Tuff (AKA Kyle Thomas) has been doing all of this stuff if his eponymous sophomore album is anything to go by. It sounds like Thomas’ past musical experiences (from the stoner rock of Witch with J Mascis, to the folk punk of Happy Birthday) have distilled the elements of reckless youth and produced twelve tracks of super-strength, lip-smacking sunshine. The album is infused with waves of surf pop and raucous riffs that are never far away from mellowing into acoustic melodies before punching back into sonic dirge.

Bobby Harlow’s scratchy production gives the feeling that you’re already ten beers in as the first track takes off, and the whole ride is a bit like dropping acid whilst hanging off the back of a hillbilly pick-up truck. Having said that, there is a lot of tenderness on the album too. King Tuff seems to tread the line between 60s homage (Losers Wall) and blistering rock n’ roll (Bad Thing) pretty comfortably. All in all, King Tuff has brought to the fore a collection of tracks that will make you want to road trip yourself all the way to Woodstock… or wherever.

Listen to Bad Thing from the album King Tuff below. And if you like it, you can hop over to soundcloud and download it. Gratis. The artwork’s pretty rad, too.

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