King Tuff: Best Album of The Summer (And Worst Artist Bio Ever Written)!

As someone who writes about music, wading through the knee-high sludge of new releases each week can get a bit daunting at times and your ears just finally say "ENOUGH!"

It gets so that even listening to music you already know and love can be a chore. So you take a few days off, give your ears a well-deserved respite from the audio barrage and secretly wonder if you've just lost your zest for rock & roll. Maybe it's all been done and hearing it done for the zillionth time has finally caught up to you.

And then, out of nowhere, you hear something that completely jolts you out of your stupor and rolls back the proverbial odometer, like vaginal rejuvenation for the ears, baby.

For us, that artist (and album) is King Tuff, whose latest album ("King Tuff" on Sub pop) was just the album our poor ears had been yearning for, but we didn't know it.

Who the fuck is King Tuff, you ask?

Good question.

Of course, the official "artist bio" on Sub Pop's website was no fucking help at all, but, hey, thanks for the fucking headache. It's obvious that whoever wrote it fancies themselves as quite the "Lester Bangs of their generation" and, while they may have Sub Pop fooled, we at The Shit cannot roll our eyes hard enough.

Thankfully, King Tuff's brilliant new joint is a such a refreshing blast to the senses that such things as artist bios and press kits and all that other surface bullshit just falls by the wayside.

King Tuff's music pulls from all the best hook-drenched sixties one-hit wonders that, whatever you wanna admit it or not, built the foundation upon which bands like Nirvana changed the world. At first, his voice may strike you as a little too nasally, but, fuck, so was Tommy James - who, by the way, is STILL not in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. "Hanky Panky", "I Think We're Alone Now", "Crimson & Clover", "Mony Mony" and yet Percy Sledge gets in with only one real hit to his name.

Ah, but we digress.

King Tuff's guitar prowess is top-shelf, but delivered in just the perfect lo-fi setting as to not command too much attention. After all, it's the strength of the songs themselves that deserve your full, undivided attention. Still, "Anthem" is the sort of tune that, in a perfect world, would lead a million teenagers to ask for a guitar for Christmas.

Seriously, not since the halcyon days of rock & roll (aka "the 70's") have we heard such righteous riffage delivered so matter-of-factly.

Sure, one could argue that songs like "Keep On Movin'" and "Loser's Wall" may wear their influences a little too obviously on their sleeve, but when the results are this joyously listenable, who gives a fuck?

Thankfully, King Tuff is working from a musical palette that has more than one color on it (which is more than we can say for most crap we hear on the radio these days) and an already great album is fleshed out with songs like "Unusual World", which sounds like something you'd hear in a David Lynch film and immediately wish the movie would end so you could see who did that damn song.

And that's really what all the greatest artists have going for them - that ability to make you pull the car over to the side of the road and JUST. FUCKING. LISTEN.

King Tuff is just such an artist.

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