Thursday, July 5, 2012

Stream: King Tuff - King Tuff

"There’s nothin’ better than alone and stoned / Listenin’ to music on your headphones," sings Kyle Thomas on King Tuff standout "Alone & Stoned". One could take this as a hint as to how the album was meant to be heard. Under his King Tuff persona, Thomas has perfected the craft of creating poppy garage rock anthems. This self-titled record is his first for Sub Pop and the long awaited followup to 2008’s Was Dead. He has kept fairly prolific between the two albums, playing with freak-folk outfit Feathers and J. Mascis' stoner metal band Witch. He also toured with Hunx and His Punx and put out a record with his power pop band, Happy Birthday. The latter displayed his knack for writing quirky and memorable hooks and on King Tuff, he retains the cleaner production and tighter songwriting of that record. It seems Thomas may have crafted the perfect retro-leaning rock album.

The most endearing aspect of this record is that it never stops being fun. Despite his work ethic, much of this album is about not giving a shit and other slacker tenets. With titles like "Loser's Wall" and "Stupid Superstar", it's no suprise that these are tales for outcasts and marginalized characters. It seems inevitable that a few of these will appear in skate and surf videos. "Bad Thing", where he spews self-deprication with squawking guitar solos and kicking rhythms, is the perfect song for such. T. Rex style midtempo boogies like "Keep On Movin'" and "Stranger" keep the joyful, carefree vibe moving along. He sprinkles in bits from a.m. radio to keep things interesting, as heard on the Paul Simon-esque "Unusual World" and "Swamp of Love", which sounds like a twisted, drugged-out version of Bruce Springsteen's "Tunnel of Love". Together these tracks make the perfect breezy summer album for hanging out on the beach ...or just being stoned by yourself.

No comments:

Post a Comment