Tuff Love – Resort [Lost Map]

It’s been hard to avoid Tuff Love and the buzz they have created since releasing their debut EP, Junk in 2014.

Just about every blog or website that got wind of them continued to follow them, this included a slew of press for releases and interviews.

Since their first release they’ve had great support slots and toured Europe a few times over and with several releases now under their belt, perhaps now is the right time for the compilation Resort to appear.

The comp is in chronological order so the first five tracks are from Junk, one of ravechild’s favourite releases from 2014 and when you get the chance to go back and listen it becomes clear why.

‘Sweet Discontent’ was one of the first pieces the band released its sweet vocal harmonies and jangling guitars are still a breath of fresh air, but the band also show off their rockier influences as the track progresses giving you a taste of both sides of their songwriting style.

The other tracks present from the first EP continue to set the tone for future releases with the melancholia of ‘Penguin’ and the angular riff on ‘Poncho’ going on to become standard features throughout the band’s impressive catalogue.

The band’s second release Dross kicks off with ‘Slammer’, starting off with a very reserved intro the track soon gets into its groove before rising to an explosive chorus.

‘Doberman’ is a great cut from the EP featuring the band’s wistful surf pop style, but with Warpaint’s haunting vocal stylings thrown in.

If each EP is taken as a separate chapter in the band’s brief time then ‘Cum’ is a fantastic ending to a wonderful second.

At points this sounds like Buddy Holly & The Crickets, but with more Smiths inspired lead guitar work.

Dregs is the third EP released by the band and makes up the last section of this compilation.

Opening with ‘Duke’, the first thing you are greeted with is a noticeable increase in the production, it feels like there is a much more thought through sense of space among the tracks.

The tracks on this EP continue the laid back approach of previous releases, but there are hints of new influences and trains of thought here and there such as an organ solo at the end of ‘Crocodile’.

‘Carbon’ is also an incredible cut, which at points manages to sound like a more sedated Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds or maybe even a Bends era Radiohead.

The jangly and flowing guitars backed by the lumbering bass manage to create an incredibly well put together track with the now trademarked heavenly vocal harmonies sitting on top.

So, with all of the bands previous EP’s laid out in one definitive release it is easy to chart where they started and also get a few hints as to where they may be going with regards to their no doubt imminent first album.

Hopefully they can find a fine balance between keeping their sun drenched pop in tow, but also allow new elements to creep in.

Either way their debut full length will no doubt be special.

Words: Phillip Allen

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