King Tuff Was Dead

King Tuff Was Dead
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Over the past few years, fuzzed-out, thrashing garage rock artists have earned themselves a ubiquitous presence in the indie music world. The recent vast output of garage rock albums has certainly been remarkable. Forerunners like Ty Segall and Tim Presley are producing multiple releases per year, while even an act like Deerhunter, on the cusp of garnering a more mainstream audience, have reverted to their earlier, more abrasive rock'n'roll sound on latest release Monomania. In keeping with this increasingly high demand for the rawest of sounds, Vermont rocker King Tuff has reissued his debut album, Was Dead, on Burger Records. Originally released in 2008 on the Colonel Records, Was Dead features all the characteristics you might expect from the debut album of a fresh-faced teenage garage punk. There are 13 tracks, none of which quite make it to the four-minute mark, and the production is, unsurprisingly, much more lo-fi than King Tuff's more recent Sub Pop releases. However, beneath the teenage fuzz and within the bratty melancholy of Tuff's nasally vocal delivery are clear indications of a dedicated musician with a strong grasp of '60s rock'n'roll themes. Album highlight "Sun Medallion" is a piece of Nuggets-inspired, acidic psychedelia. Elsewhere, Tuff offers a number of sweetened folk rock love songs, like "Lady" and "Dancing On You." In retrospect, Was Dead certainly sounds like an impressive debut and King Tuff offers no reason to dislike him. (Burger Records)