King Tuff/ Black Moon Spell (SubPop, 2014)
Be forewarned- the opening riff on Black Moon Spell is a threat to your speaker's mid-range. Not since Metallica's Kill 'Em All has the mid-range been pushed so far into the red. Proceed with caution lest you desire your speakers to become confetti. This album is produced by Bobby Harlow of The Go, and his greasy pizza fingerprints are all over this beast.
The Rock is pushed to the front here. Those with an aversion to fun and life would do well to avoid this album like the plague, as the result of a listen straight through is a good time. King Tuff treats Rock and Roll like a buffet spread, grabbing bits from this and from that and making it into a stew where the ingredients become almost indistinguishable. I can pinpoint where bits come from but this is more gut and less cerebral, so it is best to just punch the gas and go with it. Madness and Demon From Hell will sound as great live as they do when you are blowing yellow lights.
Eyes Of The Muse is “the hit” to my ears, all fish hooks to the brain, a radio hit in the 1974 of Counter Earth. Staircase Of Diamonds reminds of Billion Dollar Babies-era Alice Cooper. It's incredible. Many of King Tuff's reference points are that sort of early '70s Rock, the time before Rock started taking itself so goddamn seriously and forgot to breathe. Eddie's Song is probably the most reminiscent of King Tuff's earlier albums, the sped up, amped up boogie that makes me happy. Nobody likes to boogie anymore. Everyone should clap and dance and stop trying to look so cool at shows. If you are concerned with how you look at a show then you are doing it wrong.
The best way to describe this is “Loser Rock”. King Tuff isn't the guy who was popular on the homecoming court and got laid in high school. He was the guy that you cut sixth period with only to realize that you only have three bucks between the two of you and you decided to blow it on video games anyways. The popular kids get old and unpopular while the losers are still happy blowing their last three bucks on something fun. The meaning of life can be found within the grooves of this album if you are worthy.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4.5 out of 5.
The OCD zone- Those of you who just wandered in, pull up a chair. This is the part where I talk about the album's packaging. MP3 people, thanks for stopping by, it's been real. The rest of us who still dig physical media, welcome.
I bought this on CD. While the LP has a Loser Edition available, I believe that the CD is the real loser edition. All of the cool kids have their records and tapes while the rich kids have their iPods and phones, leaving us squares at the CD table at the music party. Hey, where is everybody? Plenty of seats over here. Anyone? Oh well.
The case is a gatefold card sleeve with an inner sleeve to protect the CD from scratches, providing me with a lifetime of PURE LISTENING ENJOYMENT when handling my CD from the edge and placing it directly in it's case upon completion. The crystal ball is a foil stamp, which is way cool. There is some additional foil stamping on the inside of the gatefold as well as on the back cover.