King Tuff | King Tuff

Sub Pop
By PERRY EATON  |  May 29, 2012
3.5 3.5 Stars

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King Tuff keep a low profile, but they're not afraid to talk a mean game. Kyle Thomas, the face behind the mask of the Los Angeles–by-way-of-Vermont rock band, uses the outfit to keep an allegiance to his garage roots while tapping into a dirty glamour. For those who dug his last full-length, Was Dead, this persona isn't unfamiliar, simply more polished this time around. His grasp on '70s sensibility continues to shine through with scrupulous attention to production. Tracks like "Alone and Stoned" are still slacker anthems, but have cleaner corners and discover new tones. As the band moves from Burger Records to Sub Pop, however, the cleanliness detracts a bit from their acid-washed charm. This is just a slight pimple, but is noticeable on slower numbers like "Unusual World." Lyrically, King Tuff still retain a cunning and artless character, not roaming too far from the basement, adhering to their original sound. Feel-good nostalgia meets the stoned Dazed and Confused-types and the glam-punks halfway. The album's fuzzed-out appeal could make it a summer go-to disc even for audiences who live above the basement.

KING TUFF + HABIBI | Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston | June 11 @ 9 pm | 18+ | $9 | 617.566.9014

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