If you like weird shit, man do I have the record for you.
I don’t know who King Tuff is (are?), and no amount of hunting through their website (also full of weird shit) can solve that particular puzzle for me. They’re label-mates with 9b stalwarts Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires; I discovered this band by reading a tweet saying they didn’t know who these Glory Fires were, but they were the only band to match King Tuff in terms of volume. That is not a comparison that one ignores lightly. On the strength of this observation I popped in King Tuff’s recently released Black Moon Spell.
If I had to sum it up in a single phrase, I’d say: teenage blood magic pop guitar love ballads. This record never stops being fun, and is unapologetically strange. Song titles like “Sick Mind”, “Demon From Hell”, and “I Love You Ugly” are not just for show. The lyrical content is as twisted and bold as the electric guitars. These songs feel like the pop songs of an alternate 1960s, a world where the civil rights movement was less of a problem than the blood sacrifice movement. They have that catchy, crunchy, sincere sound that evokes a simpler time…but with demons. Though the songs are simple, the instrumentation never gets old and continues to build on itself. The songs seem to grow more complex as you hear them, and even moreso with each successive listen.
I don’t have a lot of other words for this one. It fairly defies explanation. If you ever wondered what kind of band would play a high school black mass junior prom, look no further than King Tuff.