Article by Del Chaney
Amalgamating three EPs, calling it 'Resort' and releasing it as a monster 15 track chronological compilation is a stroke of genius by Glaswegian guitar-pop duo Tuff Love. 'Resort' gets its official release on January 29th 2016 via Lost Map Records and it brings together both of the now sold-out and for the foreseeable future digitally deleted two EPs 'Junk' and 'Dross', and the more recent, sonically brilliant 'Dregs' with a view to introducing Tuff Love's brand of dreamy, grunge-tinged, guitar-pop to those who haven't previously heard the band before. The only missing piece on this epic collection of tracks was the previously released and equally fuzzed-out Record Store Day 7" single 'Groucho'. Having spent the summer of 2015 accompanying reformed shoegazing stalwarts Ride on their UK tour, and also sharing the stage with Perfect Pussy, PAWS, Real Estate and Joanna Gruesome along the way, Tuff Love's DIY approach to home recording and producing has carried them in good stead. The band are made up of Julie Eisenstein - guitar and vocals, Suse Bear - bass and vocals plus live drummer Iain Stewart (also a member of The Phantom Band).
'Resort' opens up with the jangling tones of 'Sweet Content'. Sublime reverb-laced vocals straddle a simple beat until we're treated to a fuzzed-out explosive thrill ride to its finale. Up next, 'Flamingo' begins with a melodic guitar line but quickly rolls out into a brilliant slice of fuzzy, grunge-tinged guitar-pop. 'Copper' brings a fuzzed-out plodding drum pattern intertwined with that immense vocal and an utterly addictive guitar line. 'Poncho' is steeped in early '90s fuzzed-out grunge, but just like track five, 'Penguin', it vocally has a melodic splattering reminiscent of early 4AD stabled bands such as the recently reformed UK based band Lush. The menacing intro of 'Slammer' begins and it continues to build and build until it explodes to a melodic and colourful ending, leading the way for track seven, the charging 'That's Right', and again we're treated to another melodically fuzzed-out sonic journey. 'Sebastian' brings us back to the heady early Britpop days and is particularly reminiscent of UK band Elastica with its repetitive plodding guitars and melodic vocal lines, whilst 'Doberman' is sun-bleached and full of melody as it builds and erupts into its fuzzy chorus parts.
Full-on jangling guitar-pop leads the charge with the impressive 'Cum' and again I'm impressed with just how much melody and structure Tuff Love manages to cram into a three and a half minute song. Really cool actually. The fast paced 'Duke' enters the frame and fans of early 4AD records stuff will instantly fall in love with its explosive chord structures and duel vocal harmonies. 'Crocodile', the bands latest single, is more of the same, all be it for that '60s psych-pop-like guitar line that breaks the monotony every now and again, and that synth line towards the end. 'Threads' is by far my favourite track on this whole release. It has a very post shoegaze-era Ride sound with their album 'Carnival Of Light' coming to mind. I think it's all down to the charging tempo, jangling guitars and affected vocal lines. Either way, it ticks all of the sonic boxes for me. We've slowed the tempo considerably for the opening salvos of 'Amphibian' and we're treated to some fuzzed-out shimmering psych-pop with impressive vocals and a sweet bassline. The album's closer, titled 'Carbon', swims in jangling, reverberating guitars and beautifully golden vocal harmonies.
'Resort' is a chronological snap shot of work created by Tuff Love from 2012 to 2015. Old and new fans alike will love what this band have to offer as they skip through grunge-tinged, jangling guitar-pop and shimmering psych-pop with aplomb.
Tuff Love's website
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