Sub Pop's King Tuff sounds anything but tough. His songs are far more bouncy--using shaking tambourines, lo-fi guitars and echoed vocals to blast out wickedly catchy garage pop that sounds about as resilient as scotch tape. And then there's the vocals--Kyle Thomas' childishly innocent midrange croon.
Those disparate elements combine for an almost surreal sound, like a band you'd see in a dream sequence about the early days of rock 'n' roll.
There are big comparisons to T. Rex in everything from the fuzz tones to the shimmering glamborine. But not everything worships at the temple of Marc Bolan. "Baby Just Break" is a ragged acoustic stomp, "Stupid Superstar" sounds like revved up Big Star, and "Evergreen" is a bit like an experimental Beatles demo.
Tough it isn't, but King Tuff is pop as shit. And that's a good thing.