King Tuff - King Tuff - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

King Tuff - King Tuff

by Steve Reynolds Rating:7 Release Date:2012-05-28

Hanging around with J Mascis can only prepare you for a life of slackerdom, just ask Kyle Thomas or his alias on this occasion King Tuff. Not content with fronting Mascis' part time Witch project, (bloody slackers!!) he's on his own two feet with his eponymous second album.

He lodges his guitar between indie fuzz and glam rock stomp on opener 'Anthem' but while the music is upbeat and chaotic the lyrics are more sinister: "Pray you'll always be a fucked up kid, so pledge allegiance to the blood and shit". Thomas continues his nasally whine on 'Alone and Stoned', which focusses on society's outcasts and more specifically loners who might not see that their life is worth anything beyond the confined four walls of their bedroom.

'Keep on Moving' is plagued with happy hardcore handclaps and the dreamy 'Unusual World' is typical of Thomas' ability to balance a pretty uplifting and soothing musical arrangement against grim and caustic lyrics: "You always wanna erase the imperfect in your beautiful face and you think about the time you waste in this impossible place".

'Bad Thing' contains vibrant and crackling fuzz under decomposing and self-loathing dialogue: "When I play my Stratocaster shooting out circles of sound, when I'm looking in the mirror, a creature so ugly and wild". He continues the lonesome approach with the creepy clue in the title of 'Losers Wall'. On 'Stranger', Thomas is the outsider, looking in. He displays a sense of paranoia as he stalks the late night streets while all around him are people simply enjoying themselves. 'Baby Breaks Free' is a campfire acoustic country, cow-poke sing-along.

There is a continual theme of nihilistic misanthropy running through King Tuff, personified by 'Stupid Superstar' and aimed at all those scenesters, Big Brother contestants, reality wannabes and, oh yeah, probably Kim Kardashian. He balances this against the gentle 'Swamp of Love' with warming hints of Bowie's Ziggy Stardust.

It would be foolish to think that we haven't all related to King Tuff's lyrics and innermost feelings sometime in our lifetimes, but the darkness is balanced perfectly against his indie guitar pastiches, making this a loveable but haunting album.

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