King Tuff frontman, Kyle Thomas, was rolling some crazy eyes under his ‘Vermont’ black cap covering his long hair, while delivering a solid set of rock songs with his band of three guitarists and a drummer, making everyone dancing and moving at the Satellite on Sunday night.
There were a few kicks in the air, some jumping, some straightforward rocking-uplifting rhythms and of course a lot of head banging, even some back rolling in the crowd. The music was reminiscent of some 70s rock, without the glam and with a touch of irony and especially a lot of fun.
There was a complete enjoyable rawness in this garage power-rock, and the four guitars/bass were the real deal, playful and pleasant, answering to each other to produce this exhilarating sound. I could be wrong, but I think I recognized one of the guys from this Fullerton surf-pop band, Audacity, playing one of these guitars.
I did not know anything about King Tuff, as it is the case for many others I get to see, but Kyle Thomas also happens to be in the heavy metal revivalist band Witch (which also features Dinosaur Jr.’s J. Macis), the freakish-folk band Feathers, and Happy Birthday,… man, this guy must be busy!
Thomas was literally wearing one of his songs, ‘Sun Medallion’, a sort of psychedelic power tune, around his neck, and all the explosive tunes had some catchy hooks at one point or another. One song had even a Strokes-like atmosphere but King tuff was never working in any nostalgia business, the music was fresh like a primal urge that makes you fall in love with rock' n' roll all over again.
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Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – December 1980 (Volume 12, Number 7)
Boy Howdy! did Susan Whitall put together a solid team of writers
its own glammy road not travelled
“This was his best performance ever.”
his best song since “I Will See You In Far Off Places”
expected series of punk veterans
I have this thing where I get older but just never wiser
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – November 1980 (Volume 12, Number 6)
an almost indefinable purity