4 Headbands out of 10
It's a picture of the headbanded one himself, Stevie Rachelle, hand in
the air and addressing the crowd. It's a bit Hitleresque in concept, but
whatever. The photo is real grainy, like it was lifted from a video still.
Then someone Photoshopped a lens flare filter on there, right above Stevie's
head. It almost looks like a halo, but "angelic" isn't a word
that comes to mind when thinking of Stevie Rachelle. I think of "cheesehead,"
but anyway... Tuff seems to have abandoned its old logo completely. This
time, the letters "Tuff" are decorated with the Union Jack (that's
what they call their flag over there on that dismal little island). And
that's about all I have to say for the cover.
Cheeseheads out of 10
The 4 page booklet has some basic credits and thanks, and black and
white photos of the other Tuff guys on the back page. The back of the
CD itself has a picture of Stevie flipping the bird and a track listing.
The quality of the pic is also poor and the track listing is sort of
hard to read. It's like it was put together quickly and looks kind of
Billy Bob Teeth out of 10
Upon listenting to this, it occurred
to me that Tuff may have gotten a bad branding back in the day. Most
casual observers equated Tuff with that one power ballad that got played
over and over again. But like most of Tuff's contemporaries upon whom
a similar fate was bestowed, they were about a harder sound, both live
and on record. This disc captures that. Sounds pretty much mixed straight
from the soundboard. Tuff's songs have more of a gritty, AC/DC cock
rock kind of vibe than you'd realize if you only knew that one song.
The 2002 incarnation of Tuff, which is what's captured on this album,
is sphincter-tight and I don't hear any noticable fuck-ups. The backing
vocals could've used a little more rehearsal time, but other than that,
it's a good live CD. Hark, there's a cover tune -- Michael Monroe's
"Dead Jail or Rock and Roll." How many bands have covered
this? Didn't Warrant do the same song on that "Under the Influence"
thing they put out? Hmm. Anyways... all the tunes were recorded over
2 nights in Bristol and Manchester in the UK, but as an added bonus,
there's 3 extra tracks, recorded live in the studio at KNAC.com. So,
as if there weren't enough versions of "American Hair Band"
floating around out there, there's 2 more on "Live in the UK."
And, yes, there's that power ballad on there as well, so you can kick
back with the headphones and pretend it's 1991 all over again.
completists will want to run out and grab this right away. If you're
just checking out Tuff for the first time, though, you may want to start
with the early-career releases "What Comes Around Goes Around"
and "Fist First" to give you a better starting perspective.
Buy some CDs so Stevie can afford to feed his dog!