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Tuff Love – Dregs EP (Lost Map Records)

10_09_15_TUFF_LOVE-600-Edit_LOW_RESAs was the case with its two Extended Play predecessors – last year’s Junk and this February’s DrossDregs was recorded entirely in Suse Bear’s flat in the West End of Glasgow. Along with Julie Eisenstein, Bear is Tuff Love. Formed in 2012 and subsequently signed to the ever estimable Lost Map Records – Johnny Lynch’s wonderful independent micro-label – Tuff Love continue in that imprint’s already grand tradition of bringing undiluted happiness and joy to anyone who might care to listen to the consistently great music that it produces.

Spread beautifully across seventeen and a half minutes and five glorious tracks, Dregs is a perfect example of how one can best punch a huge, magnificent hole in a dreich November day and let the sunshine pour right in. These are songs that hitch a warm summer feeling to the brightest of melodies before setting out along a road that somehow connects grunge with pop.

New single ‘Duke’ leads the way, bristling with intent and a furious desire to conjoin The Bangles with The Lemonheads. ‘Crocodile’ snaps ever so playfully at its heels before ‘Threads’ moves the record onto an even higher plane. With its Byrdsian jangle, lush power-pop melody and inherent charm it is the jewel in Dregs’ already illustrious crown.

On ‘Amphibian’ and ‘Carbon’ Tuff Love gently take their collective foot off the sonic accelerator. Both are sweet, sweet songs of quite startling simplicity – swimming in a pool of gentle instrumentation and perfect harmonies – each one revels in the greater time and space it is afforded. Without fear of contradiction, you are going to be very hard pushed to find five more perfectly balanced, cohesive tunes this side of Christmas.

[Rating:4]

Dregs EP was released on 6th November 2015 through Lost Map Records. It can be purchased here

Photo Credit: Lost Map website

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.