King Tuff and RSTB have come a long way over the years. Way back in the Myspace days we posted a piece called “Who Is King Tuff?” and it all tumbled from there. Following Kyle Thomas from formation to a too soon demise, through a foray into Happy Birthday and watching the Tuff rise again from the ashes to Sup Pop prominence. His previous self-titled album was a welcome return, an awkward cousin to Was Dead, all grown up but still pummeling though the sweet spot axis where punk and power pop meet to get weird. Like a Twinkeyz album hopped up on nitrous with a Cheap Trick budget, Black Moon Spell pushes the Tuff legend to excess, amplifying his stereoscopic image fifty feet high and climbing. Everything here is bigger, shines brighter, bedazzled, triple stacked and running on eight cylinders.
And perhaps that's the one real criticism that can be made of the album, mid-piece "I Love You Ugly" suddenly drops fidelity and Thomas does his best Nobunny impression on a scrappy, off-kilter love ballad that never seems to fit with the rest of BMS' outsized personality. Elsewhere though, the amplified barrage of color and plasticine pop are a perfect next step in the Tuff pantheon, with Thomas even answering an RSTB wish with the inclusion of a new version of "Staircase of Diamonds". The Mindblow track was always one that got left in the rubble, but here it gets its own glossy remake and extended breakdown that's equally enticing as the Lou Reed-esque swagger of the original. If ever there was a figurehead of the Burger-boppin' denim set, its Tuff, paper crowned and leading the charge of headbang afternoons and record store educations. He's created a whole world etched in cheap tattoo and built from Happy Meal toys. We've just got to navigate it and hold on for the ride.
Support the artist. Buy it: HERE