Tough Age The Cobalt, Vancouver BC, June 5

Tough Age The Cobalt, Vancouver BC, June 5
Photo: Steve Louie
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First making waves with the now-defunct Korean Gut and Apollo Ghosts, Jarrett K. is in his natural element as the frontman for Tough Age. Granted, this slightly-postponed and somewhat rushed set didn't allow much time for the full brunt of Jarrett's wicked wit to bubble forth, but it was telling when he mentioned that the Vancouver scuzz-pop quartet was just trying to be as good as Music Waste staple and self-described failed showman B.A. Johnston. Like Johnston, Jarred has that perfect balance of cockeyed hubris and self-deprecating humour, the kind of attitude that pushes "Coffin Foam" into jaunty King Khan and the Shrines psych-pop territory yet allows for "Sea of White" to thrash in a serious Thee Oh Sees garage mosh style without ever coming across as forced. He can turn it off and on at will. The group seemed like they had a point to make on this evening, hitting it loud and hard right off the bat and never letting up, adding new grit to their eponymous Mint Records debut, as the album's producer, Jay Arner, looked on, front and centre for their whole set.

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