Friday, July 12, 2013

#EDAS Reissue Review: King Tuff, Was Dead

by Justin (@justasstrazdin)

King Tuff – Was Dead

Label: Burger Records – May 28, 2013

Artist-Fair Shopping: Burger Store/Site

Style: Formative Years, Cleaning Out the Garage, Some Rad Pop

Audience: The Unemployed, People Who Draw Cats with Laser Eyes, Soda Straw Sippers

Better Tracks:  Lazerbeam,
Freak When I'm Dead, Ruthie Ruthie, Animal

The one thing you have to respect King Tuff for is that his recordings have fidelity to them. There are not many exercises in lo-fi production on the early recordings featured on Was Dead. If anything, there's some warm, cheap tape like some 70's power pop band would have used to squeeze their budget in the studio. Rather, the experimentation comes in the in form of occasional synths and noise-making gadgets that never get in the way of the guitar and drums propelling the rock with which King Tuff artfully reconstructs and moves forward with nostalgic power pop, a framework for a sound that probably just makes you wanna shimmy, or just drink a beer next to the grill.

Listening to King Tuff's work, there are a few instances where I draw comparisons to TheApples in Stereo, of all bands. Where the Apples worked eighteen years ago to bring the pop-saturated studio trickery of the late 60's to an indie base, King Tuff created a similar sound five years ago with the late 70's. King Tuff is a bit rougher around the edges than the Apples, but listen to his 2012's King Tuff and you'll hear bits of the sonic imprint that bands like the Apples left on this sort of pop revival. It's even more evident with the straight-forward set of songs on Was Dead. This album proves he was really good at it back then, too.

Verdict: Neat-o Look into His Early Work.

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