Garage Rock at Its Most Competent
Tough Age is a garage-punk outfit fronted by Vancouver’s Jarrett K (formerly of Korean Gut) with Penny Clark on guitar, Lauren Smith on bass and Chris Martell on drums. The tunes are raucous and high-energy if not especially groundbreaking, with standouts such as “Coffin Foam” and “Have You Seen Her” providing plenty of lo-fi hooks and rhythmic oomph for listeners to hold on to. There’s more than a dash of the Ramones here, both in Jarrett’s vocal stylings and the ’50s-era melodies and song structures of a tune like “The Heart of Juliet Jones”.
Garage rock is a tough genre to stand out in—let’s face it, the technical chops required to bash out a few chords don’t exactly pose a high threshold of difficulty. Tough Age does as good a job as anyone at meeting these minimum standards, while crafting few fun pop songs along the way. There’s little enough to separate them from the already-crowded pack, however.