Opinion Article and Album Reviews by Joseph Timmons: Xombiewoof Magazine
So, here we are again, and as always I have an opinion, so sit back, relax and prepare to be mesmerized.
The indie label scene is all a buzz with excitement, not only has the small press labels become popular without the Hipster element, but some great music is coming out on a daily basis. Through hard work, diligence and great sense in music production, the small indie labels are flourishing, not only in the LP and 45 trade, but cassettes and lathes are hot, but not trendy or fake. This excites me, because labels like Too Far Gone Records can create some great, need to have albums for everyone.
Today I give to you two reviews in one, Too Far Gone Records sent me both Let’s Move by Tough Stuff and Tough Love by Forth Wanderers, these 2 bands are on either end of the experimental spectrum and I believe show some great promise to the music community as well as a great feather in the cap moment for the label. So, here are my thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think as well as suggest a band we should check out.
A bit about Too Far Gone Records, taken directly from their website info page:
“Too Far Gone Records is run by one 21 year old college student that really loves music and the DIY community. The location of the label rotates depending on the school year, mostly being located in Boston, Massachusetts. Any questions/complaints/bad jokes/inquiries/anything should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will answer as soon as I possibly can!” – through messaging, we found out that the industrious leadership of this label not only ran an up and coming source of fantastic music, but moved his entire operation while still meeting order deadlines… some serious dedication to his craft, an a level of honesty the big time labels could learn from.
Now, on to the music!
Album Review of Let’s Move by Tough Stuff by Joseph Timmons: Xombiewoof Magazine
Tough Stuff is a punk group from Long Beach, CA is the debut album that I feel captures some of the anger and apathy felt by this generation, wrought with lyrics of a straight forward nature, and mature language, show that today’s working class youth are sick and tired of the bullshit!
Not over polished, but raw and full of energy, Let’s Move by Tough Stuff is really reminiscent to me of the early NY Punk Scene I delved in my youth and has a pinch of the quirky fallout of the early live Ramones and NY Dolls, not to say they are revamping the early works, Tough Stuff is purely original, but the sentiment and desire to be unique in their messaging is obvious in this 12 track first work.
I do think however, the mix could have been a bit better, the vocals on the more aggressive tracks did not come through as well as some of the others, and the vocalist has a real talent and should be heard! This is one for the collection and since it is a limited run, 200 black Vinyl and 300 marbled violet Vinyl, this album won’t last on the rack long, it is available at Too Far Gone Records and the bands Bandcamp page.
Album Review of Tough Love by Forth Wanderers by Joseph Timmons: Xombiewoof Magazine
Forth Wanderers latest release Tough Love is a split release with Seagreen Records and is an album with a light yet haunting appeal. Sounding very much like early Smashing Pumpkins, and with the vocals by Ava Trilling, the group has a unique an ominous feel.
Forth Wanderers, based out of Montclair, NJ has a growing fan base and captures the ears and minds of more with every performance. Their previous release, Mahogany, has had a very large result on the band’s Bandcamp page and with this latest release, Tough Love by Forth Wanderers looks to follow in suit. This is a release limited to only 350 Opaque yellow and 300 translucent green / opaque blue split Vinyl, so this will be a hot to collect item, I would not be surprised if the popularity made the label print up more to satisfy demand.
The songs on this album are immensely introspective and on occasion make me think of Fiona Apple or Tori Amos, winding and hypnotic, not the “Psychedelic” style sound but a dreamy, persuasive, move to the music sound that only a group with phenomenal range can bring to the stage. I would love to see a live album or DVD with proper production come from Forth Wanderers in the near future.
I give both albums “thumbs up”, Forth Wanderers Tough Love is 5 out of 5 and Let’s Move by Tough Stuff a 4.5, only due to the hopes for a better vocal mix, but still so very well worth the pennies you will pay for a great set of albums.