What angle is there to start this review on other than “this is awesome”?
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what Tough Age are going for on their latest album, but that’s fine—most listeners will be too busy rocking out in their desk chairs to pause to reflect critically on this unrelentingly excellent record.
Over 12 songs and about 35 minute, the band runs the gamut of all the stuff you love: punk-rock, glam-rock, surf, whatever, it’s probably on there to some degree. Arguably, I Get the Feeling Central has the strongest one-two-three punch this year so far with “50 Girls 50,” “Snakes & Ladders” and “The Gutter Lemon.”
The aforementioned dose of glam and punk is in full force with those first three songs. The opener has all the hallmarks of a smash hit, the tempo amped up to 11, some wonderful “woos” in the chorus, the heat of a summer song. This is then followed by their first single, the jaw-droppingly awesome “Snakes & Ladders,” and then the energy gets even higher with the album’s third song.
After that, there’s a bit more room to breath before things go back to “normal.” “Flamenco Wiccan” and “Warm Hair” continue on the fun, summery vibes, albeit at a slower temple, and if you suddenly need some instrumental surf-rock after those two songs, “Landau, Luckman & Lake” has got you covered.
As the album goes on, it starts to become apparent what the band is getting at, dealing with confusion and basically your own feelings. “Flotsam” makes the sea an idea of how complex it can be in your own head: “Was there an ocean in my mind?/Trying to grasp what I can’t find.” And the nearly six-minute “Guilt” follows the narrator, realizing “Someone’s in my thoughts” before eventually giving into anger, with one of the most delicious lyrics of June: “All those left who wish me ill can all…get fucked.”
Let I Get the Feeling Central be the panacea to all your woes. Just give in.
Top Tracks: “Snakes & Ladders”; “”Walk!””; “I Get That Feeling Central”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good) +*swoop*