Bred in Brattleboro, Vt., and now based in Los Angeles, Kyle Thomas has been creating music as King Tuff for 12 years. It’s only recently that he decided to push his time in other bands (Witch, Happy Birthday and Feathers) to the back burner to focus on his project's scrappy, boisterous Garage Rock. Nowadays, the King Tuff moniker refers to both Thomas on his lonesome and the four-piece he fronts.
King Tuff's long-gestating debut full-length Was Dead came out on Tee Pee Records in 2008, but the band's recent label affairs are more telling of its fortunes.
Sub Pop, the still vital indie label from Seattle, released the group's second album, King Tuff, in May.
Fundamentally, Thomas and company very much stick to the Jay Reatard/Hunx and His Punx/Male Bonding mold of songwriting, injecting attitude and humor into hooky, generally merry tunes. Their sound's crummy production is just an incidental touch — Thomas admits his “lo-fi” sound was purely a result of his own naïveté.
KING TUFF perform Wednesday, Nov. 7 with Gap Dream at MOTR Pub in Over-the-Rhine.