Tough Age get ready to Shame the competition with new album, trap us first in a freshly premiered “Piquant Frieze”

Tough Age get ready to Shame the competition with new album, trap us first in a freshly premiered "Piquant Frieze"
Photo: Colin Medley

You might think you know them through prominent Riverdale set decoration, but mighty Canadian band Tough Age have been going through some changes. Having re-grouped as a three piece and moved cross country to Toronto, the great north’s “reluctant punks” have found a sound that’s tighter and brighter, as first seen on this summer’s (awesome and highly recommended) Unclean 7-inch — and now further explored on impending full-lengther Shame.

Tough Age MkII is a lean machine, the fat from their previous records now cut completely to give their Flying Nun-worshipping tendencies more room to jingle and jangle. Shame is the band’s most direct record to date, and their fine balance of good humor and perfect guitar pop feels like both a throwback to the very best of 80s/90s indie rock — from The Bats to The Feelies — as well as a worthy successor to such a legacy. Frontperson Jarrett Samson shared these thoughts with us on the album’s writing process:

I was trying to write a song with less-straight forward lyrics while also keeping very basic, non-flowery language. There’s a lot of purposeful repetition to sort of mimic the song’s idea of getting tangled up in your life and other’s lives and not being able to see outside of that.

I think this is the first song where i’ve just played the guitar totally dry, which was terrifying and a sort of direct attempt to imitate The Feelies and make myself cringe at my own performance.

The noise “solo” in the middle was originally a much louder, single pulsing keyboard dialed up to 11 but I scaled it back when Penny and Jesse described it as “awful” and “unlistenable.”

(Private message to Jarrett: I’d love to hear that ‘unlistenable mix’ if you still have it - D.P.)

Today, we have the unambiguous pleasure to premiere album cut “Piquant Frieze” (a song so good it doesn’t even need two minutes). Vibe it below as you also check out the band’s strictly Canadian tour dates. (Sheesh, come down to America sometime, okay?) Oh yeah, and BTW: Shame will be available October 20 from Vancouver-based Mint Records — but luckily, you can pre-order it here…even if you’re so damn un-Candian that you don’t even know where the heck Vancouver is.

Shame tracklisting:

01. Everyday Life
02. Piquant Frieze
03. Reflected
04. Me In Glue
05. Unclean
06. Pageantry
07. Ghost
08. Shame

Upcoming Tough Age dates:

10.01.17 – Sudbury, ON - Cosmic Dave’s Vinyl Emporium
10.06.17 – Toronto, ON - Baby G
10.07.17 – Toronto, ON - The Dupe Shop

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