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Posted on June 17th, 2015 (10:00 am) by Magdalene Taylor

Vancouver’s Tough Age have a small but growing presence. A garage punk band of "radical adults," Tough Age occupy an awkward niche with strength. Though only their second album, I Get The Feeling Central marks new progress for the group, the clarity brought by being recorded in a professional studio pushing them to sturdier ground. But don’t let words like “adults” and “professional studio” distract you too much: these things only form the foundation for a package of short, hooky songs of blown out, riff-focused surf rock/garage punk that is serious only in its precision and catchiness.

It’s difficult to precisely label Tough Age as surf rock, as it mostly comes as a nostalgic accent to their very explicit garage rock. This manifests itself in a way that makes the sound have somewhat of a bratty, raunchy quality akin to that which characterizes early punk. “50 Girls 50” introduces this vibe as the opening track of I Get The Feeling Central, following an upbeat, repetitive rhythm with a guitar and drum focus against sweeping vocals. “Snakes and Ladders” carries this surfy nostalgia in a different form, opening with a heavy guitar drive more focused on noise than pattern and utilizing light, boyish vocals.

The album switches back and forth between these two types at various intensity. “Flamenco Wiccan” and “Flotsam” hold on to the boyish, mid-tempo rock of “Snakes and Ladders” while diverging slightly in vocal style. Alternatively, “Gutter Lemon” and “Walk!” push the dirty surf rock/garage punk combination to full form with a more aggressive tone and lyrics that seem intentionally conceptually dumb.

These songs stand out as fun entries on I Get The Feeling Central, but they aren’t exactly where the strength of the album lies. In fact, the strength is more likely to be found in the mid-tempo tracks of “Snakes and Ladders” appeal. There’s an undeniable warmth to these songs found mostly in the calm and hooky guitar riffs. The more upbeat tracks have their show, too; with their fun, don’t-give-a-damn energy, even “Gutter Lemon” seems like a fun excuse to jump around.

What’s best about I Get The Feeling Central is that if you don’t really like a certain track, it’ll be over in two minutes and the next song will be something entirely different. The album is dynamic enough that there’s something to love even if you hate the surf punk raunch or hate nostalgically boyish rock. But if you like both, you’ll find unity in the variances of I Get The Feeling Central, with an endless series of guitar riffs that will hook you in quick.

Track List:

  1. 50 Girls 50
  2. Snakes and Ladders
  3. Gutter Lemon
  4. Flamenco Wiccan
  5. Warm Hair
  6. Landau, Luckman & Lake
  7. Flotsam
  8. "Walk!"
  9. New Orleans Square
  10. Castigation
  11. Guilt
  12. I Get That Feeling Central
Tough Age - I Get the Feeling Central
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

69 / 100
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