Tough Age: Tough Age

Music Reviews
Tough Age: Tough Age

Strumming a few chords and slapping a coat of reverb on them seems to be enough for some bands these days. They’re a dime a dozen…make that a nickel a dozen. Well, if you’re playing garage rock you better have a certain je ne sais quoi, or prepare to remain garaged.

The members of Tough Age know their way around a pop song or two, having all done time in local bands like Apollo Ghosts and Korean Gut. What the Vancouver, British Columbia four-piece has going for it is the ability to take sweaty rock swagger and cool it down with a wash of surf guitars and some shoegaze iciness. It’s a pretty good concoction of the three, but the songs themselves won’t likely stick with you.

Tough Age’s self-titled debut has its moments, most of them falling in the album’s front third. Opener “We’re Both to Blame” tears out of the gate in a skuzzy punk blast, and first single “The Heart of Juliet Jones” is pure sock-hop pop. From there it’s (more of) more of the same. Sometimes it feels as though they’re trying to be all things to all people instead of just going for their throats. In time I think these ladies and gents will sharpen their hooks.

In the meantime, Tough Age is just a good time. Throw it on the turntable, and you’re sure to incite an impromptu dance party (and who doesn’t like that?). But by morning, when the fog has cleared, the only thing you’ll probably remember is your drunk friend doing The Swim. Which is cool.

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