Tuff Love – Sweet Discontent
I have to explain why I have been listening to this on repeat for the last month. In September, Tuff Love gave us the first bit of themselves in the form of their misleadingly named 5-song ‘Junk’ E.P. The first track on the E.P, ‘Sweet Discontent’, is a perfectly formed and softly spoken piece of fuzzy pop. It reminds of the humble brilliance of the early Joanna Gruesome release ‘Talking To Yr Dick’; scratchy lo-fi chords struck together with such perfect and simple resonance with the softer female vocals flowing over the top. Over course of the 3 minutes 34 seconds, you are lulled into thinking you are listening to a more delicate track, before a guitar hook grabs you by the collar with just enough force to make you realise you are handling something with much more power. Tuff Love play loud and quiet against each other perfectly; the cymbal crashes are about the least unobtrusive sound in the whole song whilst the lilting vocals take precedence.
Comparisons with earlier Joanna Gruesome are pretty redundant as the ‘Talking To Yr Dick’ era JoGru included a different lead vocalist, but it’s easy to imagine Tuff Love making a similar journey towards a punkier sound but personally I hope they keep carving their dreamy yet punchy lane through in the lo-fi pop game.
Buy their brilliant EP on bandcamp, it will be the most value you will get out of £1.50 this festive season. ‘Poncho’ from the EP is another favourite.