Album Review: King Tuff—“Black Moon Spell”

By Atousa Blair

Following Was Dead and his self titled album King Tuff, King Tuff has released his third studio album Black Moon Spell. With his previous two albums, King Tuff tapped into a sound that was nostalgic, like every beloved traditional rock and roll song, yet also fresh and exciting due to the embellishments of psychedelics riffs and Tuff’s distinctive and somewhat nasally vocals. Black Moon Spell is an expansion of the most popular aspects of Tuff’s previous two albums, giving his fans exactly what they expected and wanted to hear.

Album art for Black Moon Spell.

Album art for Black Moon Spell

Opening with the title track of the album, Tuff’s classic rock influences are clearly audible as the song’s chorus resembles The Knack’s “My Sharona” with their similar drum beat and repetitive guitar. This upbeat track sets the tone for rest of the album; King Tuff fell in love, a theme that dominates the majority of Black Moon Spell. Throughout his lyrics, Tuff paints the picture of his muse banging her little head to heavy metal as she chews her gum and flaunts her cheap tattoos. Tuff’s love is best exemplified in “Headbanger,” a sweet song about two heavy metal lovers where the cliché lyrics are loveable for their goofy charm: “Me and you we got a true connection/I knew it when I saw your record collection.”

The album disappoints through the lack of diversity between the tracks. Black Moon Spell blends together into a sticky, grimey, and upbeat song, occasionally broken with a particularly catchy hook as heard in “Eyes of the Muse.” The biggest differentiation in song format and sound is the short ballad “I Love You Ugly,” which takes on a noticeably different folk-like tone. “Staircase of Diamonds,” coming in towards the end of the album, somewhat breaks the mold, as it is the first pause from the fast-paced beats heard prior.

With Black Moon Spell, Tuff didn’t develop or experiment with the distinctive sound he first succeeded with in Was Dead. Nonetheless, the album is filled with some great tracks and as a whole, is likeable on its first listen thanks to Tuff’s “pop-y” undertones. Every part of the album’s sound, from the heartfelt lyrics to the psychedelic rock instrumentals, is exactly what your ears naturally want to hear. Count on Black Moon Spell for a feel-good and nostalgic listen. (Sub Pop)


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