King Tuff, “Eyes of the Muse”

J. Edward Keyes

By J. Edward Keyes

on 07.08.14 in Listen to This

Are all of the garage heroes going soft? First, Ty Segall dabbled in moody folk music on Goodbye, Bread. Then, Mikal Cronin swapped his swampy psych in favor of the intoxicating jangle of II. And in a few weeks, the new album from Reigning Sound will showcase that band’s new fondness for pacing and texture. And now, the first single from the forthcoming King Tuff record, Black Moon Spell (out September 23 on Sub Pop) opens with acoustic guitar. It would be more distressing if the results of all of these transformations weren’t so satisfying. As it turns out, blasting sugar-sweet melodies at 1000 miles an hour is pretty good practice for dropping the same hooks at a steady pace. “Eyes of the Muse” is a gorgeous piece of wide-open guitar-pop, Tuff’s voice — usually pinched and hurried — settling into a soft, lovely croon. It recalls the kind of beam-and-bash of prime Who ballads, terrain for which Tuff is incredibly well suited.