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Earlier this year King Tuff re-released their stellar 2008 debut album, Was Dead, giving us minions who caught on to the band after the fact a chance to relive a little of that initial glory. Was Dead is more low-key and lo-fi than its 2012 predecessor, King Tuff, an album that saw the much-loved garage-scuzz-powerpop act grow into a bigger label (Sub Pop) and, not surprisingly, a more polished sound.

Anyhow, the “Screaming Skull” 7″ reminds me quite a bit of Was Dead, despite that it was released after King Tuff’s second album. Not that either of the tracks on the 7″ appear on an album– because seriously, who does that anymore? But I like the throwback sound– if 2008 counts as a “throwback”. “Screaming Skull” is everything we want from King Tuff: rockin’ but relaxed with full-sounding instrumentation and zany-ass lyrics, like “I don’t want no more self control/All I want is your screaming skull”. Kyle Thomas’ vocals sound especially good– sometimes it seems like too much treble in the mix gets the best of his already high, nasal vocals– but that’s not a problem on this track.

The B-side, “Love Potion”, is equally good– check out a live version below. And make sure to see King Tuff live if you ever have a chance, ’cause goddamn, they’re awesome.

PS: “Screaming Skull” is sold out on Sub Pop’s site, but if you rummage around at your favorite record store, they might just have one for you. If you’re desperate, get it from the man.

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