Sounding like the bastard offspring of T. Rex and Alex Chilton, King Tuff's self-titled second album and first for the iconic Sub Pop label was one of the more pleasant surprises of last year. From the swaying build in "Swamp of Love" to the jarring rockabilly on "Stranger" through the rocking thump of first single "Bad Thing," it was a record not to be missed, leaving much promise in its wake. "I think the songs were kind of written in more of a classic pop style," says Kyle Thomas, the mastermind behind the King. "I try to write songs that are instantly memorable; whereas a lot of music is more expansive these days, like a lot of popular indie music — there's not as much simple catchy choruses." He tells me he's done about 15 King Tuff records over the years, though there was only one other "official" release, Was Dead (Tee Pee Records, 2008). He also fronted the stoner-metal band Witch, featuring J Mascis on drums. "It's not that different for me," says Thomas about mixing such contrasting styles, "because I write a lot of different songs and sing them how I feel they should be sung. They just come out different ways." He promises to do something heavier in the future. The Brattleboro, Vermont–bred singer moved to Los Angeles two years ago, a relocation that left the future of Witch in doubt, but the immediate focus looks to be on King Tuff anyway. Having already let his loyal subjects know he's headed "into the caves of his mind to write some more songs," Tuff won't be resting for the new year, says Thomas. "I'm taking a few months off to write and will probably play some festivals later in the year. I like to just disappear for minimal amounts of time."
LISTEN TO KING TUFF'S "BAD THING"ON WFNX.COM.
: Music Features
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