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5. VARIOUS - Manchester: A City United In Music

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The multi-talented Kyle Thomas has played everything from stoner metal to freak-folk. He's equally adept at garage rock, as his second album under the King Tuff name shows. With a hint of glam-slam thrown into the mix, the results are royally infectious!

"What sets Thomas apart from artists like San Francisco's Ty Segall or Mikael Cronin—two other rockers currently rehashing the '60s and '70s for 21st-century underground consumption—is that Thomas seems like a wimp. Yes, he knows how to play snotty, insistent songs. Yes, his voice is high and needling, and when he wants it to be, very forceful. Force, though, is a secondary concern. He'd rather be, like, carving your initials into a tree or getting a burger." - SPIN

"If 'Keep On Movin'' is to be believed, King Tuff's guitar doesn't shred, it 'drools.' That's an appropriate visual: the greasy, catchy garage-pop on the Vermont-bred singer's second record sneers like convenience store parking lot stoners. Black-and-blue bruisers 'Anthem' and 'Bad Thing' benefit from some chicken-fried riffing, but Tuff is just as good in the slower moments. The dewy-eyed, piano-bar gospel of 'Swamp of Love' suggests that, under the leather jacket and taco-stained Ramones T-Shirt, beats a genuine human heart." - Rolling Stone

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