Glaswegian duo Tuff Love negate the conventional way of making an album by combining their first three EPs on ‘Resort’. Presented as a 15-track compilation, it features all of the band’s recordings from 2012 – 2015. It’s a deftly lazy approach, but who can blame them? In fact, you have to wonder why more bands don’t do the same. Here, Tuff Love showcase their predilection for shimmering, visceral guitar pop in order of their brief but consistent output, and it sounds more like one lengthy cohesive debut rather than three separate records.
Despite not being an album in the sense that it was written for that purpose, it still flows like a triumphant full-length, though there is a noticeable shift in tone as it progresses. From the sprightly melancholy of opener ‘Sweet Discontent’ to the jagged college-rock of ‘Sebastian’, every track has its merits, and there’s enough nuance here to avoid the typical indie-pop cliché of being defiantly upbeat throughout: ‘Doberman’ and ‘Carbon’s subdued, bass-heavy sound provides comparatively quiet introspection where songs like ‘Flamingo’ and ‘Poncho’s sound blithely optimistic. Regardless of the tone, however, there’s always a pleasing amount of attitude at play in the lyrics and occasional guitar freak-outs.
Breezy but not without substance, if ‘Resort’ reveals anything about Tuff Love’s trajectory, it’s that they’ve become more contemplative over time, while refusing to forgo their shambling melodic impulses in the process.
Words: Hayley Scott
- - -
- - -