King Tuff King Tuff

King TuffKing Tuff
King Tuff is the alter-ego of prolific songwriter Kyle Thomas, who previously moonlighted in Happy Birthday, Feathers and Witch. His latest album is his second solo release and first for Sub Pop. Like his previous efforts, King Tuff finds the Vermont native marring the sugary melodies of classic '70s power pop with lyrics that focus on the trappings of the modern world. The first half of the album showcases Thomas's ability to write songs that stand out amongst the slew of garage rock bands that have popped up over the past five years. It's clear that Thomas spends a great deal of time toiling over melodies, and standout tracks like "Anthem" and "Alone and Stoned" are a call to arms for a new generation of disillusioned burnouts. The majority of the album contains enough diversity to pull in any fan of classic pop melodies while still retaining a sense of newness, but there are a few moments that fall short. "Stranger" is the least memorable song here, taking a tired, overused blues progression and attempting to turn it into a three-minute track. Luckily, the inspired moments outweigh these occasional missteps, and this album will prove rewarding to anyone that has ever fallen in love with a pop song. (Sub Pop)