A bit of a disappointment.
Label: Lost Map Records
Released: 29th January 2016
Charting the band’s three year infancy with a fifteen-track compilation of their three EP’s; Tuff Love’s debut album, ‘Resort’, sees the Glaswegian duo shining a light on the new genre of bedroom indie pop.
‘Resort’ is the definition of a DIY album: not only is it self-produced and self-engineered from Suse Bear’s (bass and vocals) flat, but the overall tone of the album screams homemade and hand-crafted. Opener, ‘Sweet Discontent’ begins the do-it-yourself feel with Julie Eisenstein’s (vocals and guitar) soft and vulnerable vocals perfectly laying over a bed of shy guitar pop that makes for an undeniably gorgeous listen. Tinged with gripping, yet soothing guitar lines, this track forebodes the rest of the record.
From the creeping hooks of ‘Slammer’, to the twanging base of ‘Doberman’ – the guitars are key to the Tuff Love formula. That, and the addition of Eisenstein’s mellow vocals. The fact that their formula is so easily picked apart is what makes ‘Resort’ such a tuff (sorry) listen: it’s annoyingly predictable. It’s all well and good having a three or four track EP built on dreamy indie pop, but 15 tracks is a bit much, really. Plus, the band are formed of two that both play guitars, meaning there is little emphasis on drums, causing the record to lack the oomph it so desperately needs.
Although Tuff Love have the skills and the repertoire to go far, ‘Resort’ is a bit of a disappointment. Rather than focusing on creating one masterpiece of a debut, ‘Resort’ feels like the pair have stuck three of their EP’s together and branded it as a debut album… which is essentially what they’ve done. Let’s hope next time isn’t a cop out. Emily Pilbeam