Black Moon Spell
Sub Pop Records
Here’s the new King Tuff record, the third – but most people probably only got on board with the eponymous record, an infectious slice of indie pop with some great classic rock instincts. For Kyle Thomas (aka King Tuff) that’s still the case and Marc Bolan is the obvious touchstone as Black Moon Spell kicks off, like Bolan he can hide some lyrical trite inside the right kind of rubber-squelch riffing, the songs happy collisions of indie pop exuberance and the stock images of correct chord shapes from a decent/standard record collection.
Once (Headbanger) or twice even (Beautiful Thing) there’s a touch of the New Zealand sound to what King Tuff does – probably why the records go over so well here. There’s something a bit Dave Mulcahy-esque about the voice and the way the voice is used.
I Love You Ugly is a Violent Femmes-esque throwaway ditty – Magic Mirror is what Weezer might have become if there was ever a depth rather than just always the surface and Madness feels like the best kind of Alice Cooper pastiche; a sincere one. Actually it sounds – somehow – like The Stereo Bus (or JPSE) covering Cooper.
Thomas is part Ariel Pink-weirdo, part Ty Segall-bedsit basher but like Brant Bjork (and Segall too, I guess) there’s something that extends beyond any idea of backwoods gimmickry. Here’s a guy who’s done the listening, got the chops (in more than one way too, sure) and kicks out the jams – always sure to make infectious pop jewels rather than indulgent jamming murkiness.
Eyes of The Muse feels like a long-lost 70s rock radio classic, a touch of The Who about it, Staircase of Diamonds and Eddie’s Song close the record off (Eddie’s Song returning to the Bolan boogie feel) in that perfect way where you’re satiated. And yet you want more. Hit ‘play’ again. This one’s got feelgood-hit-of-the-summer written all over it.