Tough Troubles “Tough Troubles” (2009)

According to Tough Troubles, this disc falls under the “broad church of punk,” albeit punk filtered through Hawkwind’s equal dosage of LSD and amphetamines. The core of these songs are driving drum machines and well-recorded guitar tones, with layers of psychedelic fuzz, keyboard textures and barely-articulated vocals coming in as necessary. The elements used here are all familiar – the band cites Hawkwind and marijuana as their primary influences, and anyone familiar with one or both of those things will find these tunes somewhat familiar. The disc opens with Educated Flavours, a track that could be a post-punk/early new-wave song, before jumping headlong into psychedelic territory with the spaced out intro of Art Work Will be Destroyed, which stays in minimalist mode throughout but remains listenable, too. I find the intro riff of Sultans Party to drag on a little too long in a very rudimentary “eastern-sounding” mode, but the drum machines pick up the pace and the interest considerably.
Not every track here is consistent. Tough Troubles is certainly ambitious and that’s a useful thing for a band self-consciously trying to release psychedelic music. But some aspects of their sound are handled better than others – the textures and effects on voice, keys and guitars make some of the longer tunes really worth their while, where as the usually simplistic drum-programming and riffing make some of the more straightforward tunes a little less entertaining. Tracks like Educated Flavours and Somali Girl prove the band is capable of solid songwriting, and the epic album highlight, Pious Hat (clocking in at just under 8 minutes) proves the band is capable of sustaining a mood, bringing in a doomy, fuzzed out riff underneath a sample of Gregorian chant. For a debut release, this isn’t bad, but upon listening to this demo one is left with at least three distinct impressions as to which direction the band might go, and the impression that they might not be able to sustain them all simultaneously. But, as it should, the disc shows promise, which is more than can be said of many.

– Adam Matlock


Release:  December 2009
Label:  Geneva Lake Records
Avantgenre:  In Search Of Space Punk
Duration:  50 Minutes~
Origin:  U.K.
Official site:
Review online since:  24.03.2010 / 15:21:12


01 – Educated Flavours
02 – Art Work Will Be Destroyed
03 – Sultan’s Party
04 – Big Rig
05 – Pious Hat
06 – Hungry Mouse
07 – Somali Girl
08 – Woods (bonus)
09 – NWON7HM (bonus)
10 – Well (bonus)

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