King Tuff and Ex Hex at the Hi-Tone 

King Tuff comes to the Hi-Tone on Saturday the 24th, alongside

Ex Hex and locals Liquid Teens. As far as premier indie rock tours go, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better one coming to Memphis this month. King Tuff is the project of Kyle Thomas, an artist who got signed to Sub Pop records after releasing his first two albums on smaller indie labels. While his earlier songs sounded a lot like the Clap (a forgotten pysch band from the ealy '70s), his recent work is a lot more reminiscent of Slade or T. Rex.

King Tuff isn't a throwback act, though, and Thomas has found a way to meld some of the best elements of '70s glam while still sounding like a guitar player making records in 2015. His latest record Black Moon Spell was released last fall and reached number one on the College Music Journal Top 200.

click to enlarge King Tuff - DAN MONICK
  • Dan Monick
  • King Tuff

Joining King Tuff on his tour promoting Black Moon Spell is Ex Hex, an all-female trio that features Mary Timony of Helium, Autoclave, and Wild Flag. Timony is also no stranger to underground success, and Rips, the debut album from Ex Hex, received the same kind of great reviews her other projects grew accustomed to. While King Tuff draws influence from some lesser-known sources, Ex Hex sticks to the no-frills approach, cranking out raw rock-and-roll that's as derivative as it is infectious.

Opening the show Saturday is Liquid Teens, a newish garage punk band that sounds a lot like some of Jay Reatard's earlier projects, specifically the Final Solutions. Liquid Teens posted some new material online last fall, so perhaps a debut single is in the works.


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