McHank #10 – King Tuff and Torche: Two of the best albums out so far this summer McHank #10 – King Tuff and Torche: Two of the best albums out so far this summer

I know I’m supposed to review new records from time to time, and tell you that either A. I agree with something you already know, that the artist in question is the most brilliant artist since the last artist that was the most brilliant artist until your other friends got into them and diminished some of their luster, or B. I agree that this “artist” is a turd that has created a great time vacuum that you should avoid at all costs, or C. (most importantly) I should have told you about somebody a long time ago because they make all this great work and you should have gotten into it a while ago.

Contrary to the main goal of this website, I don’t think I’m really any good at reviewing NEW records. Oh, I can talk your ear off about a record that I’m really into or that came out a couple of years ago. But you want news, and you want me to Walter Cronkite that shit before the record leaks out and you already have an opinion on it. But I don’t think that’s fair to a record. You know, most of my favorite records, I don’t think, I would have given the most stellar reviews to upon first listen, but you know, there are some exceptions. Some records on the other hand are so overflowing and effervescent, that I get them, can’t shut up about them for a month or two, and eventually forget them.

Well, I am here to tell you that two records (both with pink album covers—coincidence?) have come out in the last few months and I haven’t shut up about either. So this is going to be a sorta record review, sorta, but about both.

Torche‘s new record, Harmonicraft, and King Tuff’s new record, King Tuff. What I am going to tell you about both, is that, as far as I can tell, they both have timeless appeal. What makes me so sure? Well, they both sound like they could have come out somewhere between 1985 and 1995. The fact that I can’t nail it down to a specific year is one part of why they’re timeless. That I can compare Torche to Helmet’s poppier moments, or Therapy?’s singles, and that I can compare King Tuff to The Violent Femmes, The Dead Milkmen, and Nirvana. The thing that makes both these records timeless AND essential is that they both just have fantastic songwriting falling off of them like sugar on a frosted mini wheat. No matter how much of that sugar you bite off, there’s more on there, and those mini wheats turn out to be kinda good for you. These similes are a good indication of why I don’t write more record reviews. I know, you just want a thumbs up or a number, you didn’t want to read all of this shit. If I just say they’re both tens, you’d be happier. But that won’t tell you anything about them. I don’t know if I can tell you too much about them but I can tell you the most important thing: they’re both worth your money. So don’t be such a tight ass. I’m broke too, but I’ll open up my wallet for these albums. Because their high replay value makes them good investments.

King Tuff’s songs “Bad Thing” and “Baby Just Break” and Torche’s songs “Kicking” and “Sky Trials” should be summer hits starting now and going on forever. Put them on in your car, turn them up loud, and sing along with your buddies.

Torche – “Kicking” (Stereogum Premiere) from stereogum on Vimeo.

ALSO: Here’s a show review. I saw King Tuff at the Soda Bar a couple of nights ago. He was really good. You should go see him.

(McHank Photo)

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