HOLY SHIT. Marc Bolan has a new record and, dude, he sounds really rejuvenated. I was pretty sure he was dead, but maybe I was thinking of Devendra Banhart. Seriously though, these garage rock kids love their T. Rex and King Tuff is no exception. Over the course of a week of listening I’ve rode the opinion waves up and down on this one. First off, this is definitely a step above Was Dead and maybe even an entire flight of stairs above it. The only tune on Was Dead that caught any heat from my ears was “Sun Medallion” and even that one had the signature KT whiny timbre that puts me off. King Tuff isn’t the same whiny one trick pony and is certainly a more thoughtful and developed record. Songs like “Bad Thing” (the single), “Loser’s Wall,” and “ Swamp of Love” (the most obvious Bolan-boner) are all sonically dissimilar and yet maintain the detached sleaze that KT is getting known for. This isn’t a dis, the sneaky stoned attitude functions well here and doesn’t overshadow his obvious chops. This is Thin Lizzy playing in a chandelier factory, naked, with bongs.
These songs are really something, honestly, and deserve your ears for a whirl. It destroys anything Happy Birthday did and is markedly better (read: ‘more diverse’) than his first affair. Surely, there’s gonna be some people put off by the attitude that precedes this kid but…. don’t hate the player…. hate the game. [Sub Pop]
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