Born Kyle Thomas, Tuff made a name for himself in his native Vermont tooling around with previous bands Happy Birthday and Witches. After posting up in an abandoned building-cum-artist collective in downtown Brattleboro, Vermont, Tuff began a solo record which started as 2006's "Mindblow," then finished as "Was Dead" in 2007.
This year's self-titled release deconstructs "Was Dead"'s static aesthetic. Instead of simply sounding lo-fi, the LP sounds like it was recorded on vinyl, then rubbed with a Brillo pad. Its garage-pop roots are buried under fuzz, scuzz and Thomas's own gooey riffs. King Tuff experiments with themes of isolation, rebellion and love. Tuff may be king, but an audience can appreciate how his reign defers to plebeian affairs.