Review: King Tuff — The Other

Categories:  The Arts    Music
Wednesday, April 18th, 2018 at 11:15 AM
Review: King Tuff — The Other by Britton Rozzelle

★★☆☆☆

King Tuff’s new album, “The Other,” was originally pitched as a fun folky rock album with the lead single “Psycho Star” presenting a wild and dramatic (if not repetitive) jam that I thought would be representative of the LP as a whole.

I was, apparently, very wrong.

“The Other” is a hard to recommend listen. It’s exhausting and drawn-out, feeling like a slightly-more accessible Mount Eerie album than anything else. It eventually, thankfully, lightens up into a bigger, more unique psychedelic journey by the time “No Man’s Land” comes around, but by then it’s too late to make up for the experience prior.

I’m just going to go out on a limb here and implore artists worldwide to maybe, consider, at the very least, not starting your album with a six-plus minute long ballad about the apocalypse. Thomas croons and wails while telling the story of a family and “the other,” setting a tone that absolutely has nothing to do with any other song on the album. It was a baffling decision, alienating and rough to get through unless that’s exactly what you’re looking for an album this week.

Immediately following into the infinitely more enjoyable “Raindrop Blue,” listeners are granted a better look at what King Tuff’s music actually sounds like - with heavy soulful guitars and rough, pointed vocals assisted by a mild modulation.

The bluegrass inspired “Infinite Mile” is immediately reminiscent of Jack White’s solo songs, full of twangy vocals, clear acoustic guitar and the ever-present harmonica. It’s in this track that King Tuff finds a stride that is not only more like his earlier work, but a sound that is unique and interesting. It’s something that could have been capitalized on more, but instead we’re left with songs like the scattered “Circuits in the Sand” and the West-Coast Customs introduction-sounding “Ultraviolet.”

There’s definitely an audience in mind for this album - like those that like modern country rock and are willing to foray into more modern electronic sensibilities - but I don’t think I can count myself as part of it. Everything here, aside from the title track, is serviceable, but the impression it immediately left was just too dour to shake. 

Stream below:

Britton Rozzelle can be reached at musics.spectator@gmail.com. 

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