Black Moon Spell

It’s difficult to tell sometimes where Kyle Thomas ends and where King Tuff begins. Thomas has been playing under the alias over the course of three full-lengths now, and his persona continues to grow. While it’s always felt like a natural extension of Thomas’ comic-book, punk-rock and heavy-metal upbringing, it feels like King Tuff has become all-powerful on Black Moon Spell. “King Tuff is my name,” he sings on “Madness,” over a bent riff and handclaps that sound pulled right out of the Bay City Rollers’ “Saturday Night.” He finishes the line with, “Pleased to meetcha, I’m gonna eatcha, cuz I’m batshit insane.” Black Moon Spell is a nod to the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle. It’s written all over songs like “Headbanger” (about lovers who love Priest and Maiden) and “Black Holes in Stereo,” in which he flips his lid over flipping records. If it sounds ridiculous, that’s the point. In a recent interview, Thomas told me that rock ’n’ roll isn’t ridiculous anymore. The mystique of being a rock star may be long dead in the age of social media, but Thomas … err, King Tuff, is fighting the good fight. And if you’re willing, King Tuff’s spell works every time.