Cobrafest: King Tuff, Natural Child, Jaill | Cobra Lounge | Fairs & Festivals | Chicago Reader

Cobrafest: King Tuff, Natural Child, Jaill Member Picks Agenda Soundboard Recommended

When: Sun., July 15, 9 p.m. 2012

After assuming the alter ego King Tuff for his 2008 debut, Was Dead, Kyle Thomas tucked it away for a few years to play in a handful of other projects, including stoner outfit Witch (with J. Mascis), psych-folk group Feathers, and lo-fi indie band Happy Birthday. But now he's decided to check into the glammy garage-pop of King Tuff full-time—signing with Sub Pop, releasing a self-titled sophomore album, and packing his bags to leave Brattleboro, Vermont, for Los Angeles. Good moves all around. Though written in the Green Mountain State, the album is more of an ode to the peculiar nooks and niches of Anytown, California—in other words, sunshiny hippie vibes, surfboards, fun-house mirrors, and lots of grass. The opener, "Anthem," is a perfectly breezy introduction to Thomas's sneering, nasal vocals and ridiculous know-how with rock guitar. "Alone & Stoned" is easily the best song ever written about being alone and stoned, listening to music on your headphones in your bedroom, and staring off into the middle distance—plus the ascending falsetto vocals of the chorus hook fall into the almost surreal realm of Beach Boys catchiness. Thomas dabbles in rockabilly, psych, and folkish pop throughout King Tuff, because he's figured out that he can turn pretty much whatever he touches into his own uniquely gnarled and fun rock 'n' roll song. Buy this album. Go to this show. —Kevin Warwick Natural Child and Jaill open.

Price: free with RSVP at

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