TOUGH AGE, MINT RECORDS
Vancouver four-piece Tough Age might be new to the scene in this incarnation, but they are by no means newcomers, as the band members have previously been key pieces of local stalwarts Korean Gut, Apollo Ghosts and Collapsing Opposites.
At first listen, the self-titled debut presents itself as a standard, if not solid, take on the now umbrella title of “garage.” But don’t let that discourage you, as closer listens reveal a vast amount of influences and subtle genre jumps which provide strong indications that this is a band with much more to offer.
Coated in reverb, the mostly sub-three-minute tracks swiftly make their presence felt with the up-tempo rhythm section of Chris Martell and Lauren Smith pushing the pace. Penny Clark and frontman Jarret Samson provide the vox and guitars, while the band covers a lot of ground, musically, including elements of shoegaze (“I Waste Too Much Time On Myself”), surf-rock (“Have You Seen Her”), punk (“Dream Date”) and psychedelic (“Sea Horse”).
At its core, it’s a fun power-pop record, with just enough pace and originality to keep thing interesting. Also, the bubblegum-infused lead single, “The Heart of Juliet Jones,” might just be a late-runner for catchiest damn song of 2013.
By Cory Jones