Tough on Fridays are getting serious attention as a major new alternative/indie rock act on the scene thanks to the impressive way they use the time-tested vehicle of guitar driven, melodic rock to express themselves in a vividly personal way. Their single “Lush” is an ideal example of that thanks to the serious-minded vocal approach linked up to brightly hued guitar riff with just enough of a jangle in its style to give a lighter touch than your typical alt-rocker.
The production and mixing job from the talented Tim Palmer frames “Lush” in the best possible way and apportions space to each instrument while maintaining an effective balance between them. The same talent for dynamics coming through in Tough on Fridays’ earlier songs is as alive as ever during their performance of “Lush” and shows a band at home with surprising their audience and upending expectations ever so slightly.
The guitar sound is unobtrusive but inescapable. Much of the song’s energy comes from the six-string playing and it couples tasteful playing with a chord-heavy sound that sounds live from the first. One of the song’s most important and memorable aspects comes from the immediate quality characterizing the recording – there may be overdubs present on the recording of “Lush”, but you couldn’t tell thanks to the loose, relaxed parts thread together typical of bands who have played together for many years.
It’s a truism that you can’t reproduce chemistry, it’s either there or it isn’t, and Tough on Fridays embodies that quite well. Even the four-minute plus running time does nothing to impede their success and there are enough twists and turns, even those of a minor sort, to keep listeners tethered to the tune from its kick off onward. Gina Osmar’s drumming is particularly exceptional and bassist Katie Cummins’ brings extra punch to the musical attack.
Tough On Fridays are blazing their own trail
The confluence of different sounds merging into one seamless approach is complemented by a vocal with a good mix and lyrical content that has enough signature style to give its exploration of familiar themes a new spin. The same economical point of view that goes into the song’s composition, particularly the arrangement, is reflected in their lyric writing as well and even possesses a uniquely percussive quality that goes well with the song.
Tough on Fridays are rising fast and will undoubtedly experience even greater popularity on the heels of tunes this good. “Lush” shows off everything they are about and even hints at greatness potentially to come. Songs like this serve to remind us that the genre’s commercial fortunes may flag, but as long as electricity and electric instruments are available, young musicians with something to say are going to discover rock music’s transformative magic and use it to their own personal ends. Rarely does a young band use that magic with the impact heard from Tough on Fridays.
-review by Lance Wright