King Tuff

King Tuff Struts His New Stuff

We’ve been big champions of King Tuff since we first heard that self-titled album some six years ago, and Black Moon Spell two years later was one of the best elpees of 2014. Since the touring cycle for that one subsided, Kyle Thomas seemingly sorta dropped outta sight for a few years. Well, we’re happy to report that the King has returned from the vast wilderness of wherever he was, and it sounds like he discovered a patch of especially potent herbal and/or fungal accouterments out there.

Sub Pop will be releasing King Tuff’s fourth album The Other on April 13th, and the push for this one emphasizes Thomas’ “soulful and cosmic new direction.” Judging from the sound of the two advance tracks that have been released thus far, the full results of Thomas’ expanded approach could go either way. The title track is pretty but drags on, never really going anywhere. “Psycho Star” is a dose of hypnotic funk, definitely something different for Thomas but it’s a solid and catchy song.

Guests on The Other include Ty Segall, Jenny Lewis and Mikal Cronin. Sub Pop’s press release promises “expansive arrangements, a diversity of instrumentation, and lyrics that straddle the fence between painful ruminations and reconnecting with that part of yourself that feels childlike and creative and not corroded by cynicism,” instead of the “goofy rock-and-roll bacchanalia narratives of earlier records.” All well and good, I suppose, but we really liked those goofy records. Speaking of goofy, we also like the guys in Thomas’ live band, so hopefully he hasn’t ditched them as well. I guess we’ll find out when King Tuff plays the EARL on May 12th.

Photo by Olivia Bee.