Album Reviews

King Tuff – King Tuff

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Hailing from an off-the-grid enclave in Vermont, King Tuff (aka Kyle Thomas) rules his own republic of obscurity while churning out a feral breed of righteous power pop. This is not music that belongs under a microscope, but simply blasting from a boombox late at night from a Brooklyn rooftop, upsetting the neighbors. King Tuff is art, living in the moment, a celebration of free-floating youthful madness with a magical pop sensibility.

Fueled by the rollicking fuzz of guitars with a rusty metallic edge, King Tuff sneers out intoxicating vocal lines evoking the mindless and misled joy of anti-authoritarian youth. From wild rockers like “Anthem” and “Bad Thing,” where a garage guts and glory style lets loose to the stony shoe-gazer vibes of “Stupid Superstar” and “Swamp of Love,” King Tuff dynamically levitates to a beautifully strange place. The ghosts of greats form Dick Dale to Marc Bolan can be heard through the acid-flashback inducing riffs that litter these twelve solid tracks. Picking up where the King left off with Was Dead, this album is living proof that honest and uninhibited pop rock hasn’t gone completely down the drain.

-John Figlesthaler

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