Monday, December 12, 2011

Classic melodic rock CD of the week

By Stephen Kasenda

TUFF “What Goes Around Comes Around” (1991)

Tuff is an American pop/sleaze metal band that was heavily inspired by Poison - not only by their music, but also with their style and appearance. When Stevie Rachelle came to front the band, they looked even more similar, with Rachelle often called a Bret Michaels copycat. "What Comes Around Goes Around" was released in 1991, bad timing for a glam band to start their career. Before they could begin, grunge plagued the charts and Tuff was completely forgotten.

If you happen to like fun and naughty glam style rock, Tuff's debut could be a great pick. Out of 10 tracks, I found many favorites here, from the up-tempo opener of "Ruck A Pitt Bridge" with a smart funky groove fader at 3:00; the commercial Poison-rip of "The All New Generation"; relaxing acoustic-driven rock in "So Many Seasons"; the huge power ballad, "Wake Me Up", which was co-written with Bret Michaels and better in any aspect than their biggest single, "I Hate Kissing You Goodbye"; and the exhilarating Motley-fueled track, "Good Guys Wear Black". Only "Ain't Worth A Dime" and "Spit Like This" are filler.

Jorge DeSaint's guitar style was inspired by CC DeVille and that's definitely not a big surprise. But Rachelle's voice isn't very close to Bret. Instead, he sounds like a cross of Alice Cooper and Bonfire's Claus Lessmann. The production is acceptable but 38 minutes feels like a short ride. If only they could have included a couple more smokin' hard rock tracks, this album would be a blast. Recommended for fans of Poison, Pretty Boy Floyd, and the later-day pop/sleaze metal.

Read more of Stephen’s features at MetalMusicArchives.

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