Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Tuff Talk - Into the Night

I first wrote about Tuff Talk last year when the Seattle trio released an impressive debut single featuring two tracks of high quality power pop/punk. So I was pleased to recently discover that the band had a new EP in the works. Released last week, Into the Night is quite a progression from last year's single. While Tuff Talk hasn't exactly abandoned power pop ("Nite Burn," reworked from the band's demo, will delight anyone who went crazy over "Shelly" and "Never Say Die"), Into the Night finds the trio spreading its wings in a major way. The production (the EP was recorded by Johnny Sangster and mastered by Rachel Field) is absolutely massive. This is no humble DIY recording — it's a big hooky rock record! The guitars are loud and crunchy, the drums hit super-hard, and the bass lines totally pop. Yet the band's knack for well-crafted melodic tunes remains very much in tact. "Rollin'" brings to mind the early '90s glory days of alternative rock leaning power pop (or vice versa). "Into the Night" has the feel of an '80s band walking a line between arena rock and new wave. "Yesterday" was the real surprise for me: a deliberately-paced "classic alternative" track showing a moodier and more sophisticated side of Tuff Talk. "TV Eyes" finds the band back in power pop territory, but with a twist. I'm hearing a little dark jangle a la The Barracudas. Power pop fans will find plenty to like on Into the Night, and Tuff Talk's songwriting chops continue to shine. But I think a lot of people will hear this EP and be quite surprised. Bring on the full-length!

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