ALBUM REVIEW: THE TUFTED PUFFINS – DEMONSTRATION

Full disclosure here, I’ve known Tom Huff, lead guitar in the Tufted Puffins since at least 2009, when tGDM played with his band Goburn. Heck, supercorrupter did a show with The Tufted Puffins back in December of 2015.

This EP, simply titled ‘Demonstration,’ was independently released in January 2016. You can preview it on Reverbnation, and probably buy it from them in person. They’ve been gigging pretty steadily for the past few months all over Northeast Ohio, so you should be able to check them out live if you want. They’re a four piece based around drums (Marky Moon), bass (Ken Brown), lead and rhythm guitar (vocals come from rhythm guitarist Mike Baker).

The band plays what I consider a “classic” sounding punk rock. The songs are all tight and concise and to the point, but also intelligent and annoyed. This isn’t the garbage that gets passed off as mainstream punk today. The more I listen to this, the more it reminds me of the Buzzcocks, with elements of The Dead Boys and The Stooges added in. While the songs themselves are catchy, I think it’s the quality of the lyrics that sells me on the band. A band like this isn’t as much about the almighty riff as much as the tunefulness of the song, so don’t expect any big breakdowns or fist-pounders or anything.

Sonically, this is a really clean-sounding record. I’m left wanting more after the 12 minutes of songs is over. Check them out. – Jason

Coulda Been You – There’s a fake-out ending in this tune that works really well. It’s probably my favorite part of the song. The chorus backing vocals (ooo ooos) are also a simple, but nice touch. This song has a slightly different vibe than the rest of the EP, and while it’s a good song, I think I like the other three tracks more. This one feels the most like The Buzzcocks to me. It would sound right in place on “Love Bites.”

Diamond In The Rough – This tune is based around a stuttering hop of a riff and it works really well. I think it’s a timeless tale of the woebegone loser selling his merits to the girl of his dreams (in a non-traditional way), and feels like it could have come out in 1977 or 1985 or really whenever. Bonus points for including the word “fauntleroys” in the lyrics. I think this is my second favorite tune on the EP.

In America – The bassline that builds out this tune sounds like something McCartney would have played. Again, a really catchy tune but with some dark lyrics (“I’d like to put your pretty face right through a window, and just see how far you go without your little button nose and all your chic designer clothes, here in America.”). This is a good song, and really lets the bass of Brown shine.

It’s Up To You – This is my favorite song on the EP, probably because it’s got a thicker, more driving riff propelling it along. This isn’t that far off from being an almost desert-rock kind of tune. Huff’s lead here is rough in a good way, leading the song out to an abrupt end.

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