The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world








At the time Tuff suffered from being labeled as the poor man's Poison, but in truth they were a harder band than their more successful peers and even though they probably committed similar crimes against the ozone layer their debut was an album worth a good look. Here it is again then with a twist..




The first thing that you notice is that the rather striking cover is gone completely. The second thing is that this isn’t just a re-recording; it plays with the tracklisting, deletes a few songs and adds a few new ones as well as giving us a couple of versions of ‘So Many Seasons’.




I must admit to never being a Tuff fan back in the day, but I do respect what Stevie Rachelle has done in the intervening years. This re-release gives you a chance to re-assess one of what might be called the second-string of ‘hair metal’. And to be honest it’s not at all bad: the re-jigging of the tracklisting and the new songs actually make this a better album than the original version and surely that is the whole point.




Musically we have a host of stars from the 80’s lending a hand, and a heap of new ‘old’ tunes, To quote Mr Rachelle ‘We had some tunes back in the day that used to be fan favourites, and this time around we added them’.




Of the new stuff 'Put Out Or Get Out' is heavier than you might imagine and ‘Round ‘Em Up’ is pretty good too. Of the old material what has gone is as interesting as what has stayed – with the Bret Michaels penned ‘Wake Me Up’ (which was one of the best songs on the original) in the bin along with ‘Lonely Lucy’ and ‘Forever Yours’ (another of the best on the original and certainly a song that could have done with an updated sound)…




The second most mystifying thing here though is the two versions of ‘So Many Seasons’ which was an incredibly average ballad in 1991 and sounds even more ordinary now, but really flounders on the added ‘piano version’. As ballads go ‘I Hate Kissing You Goodbye’ is a far superior song.




The most mystifying thing by far though is the omission of ‘Ruck A Pit Bridge’ that opened the original album and was probably the strongest song there. Why it’s missing here, along with ‘Forever Yours’ (though you can probably guess why the BM song was cast aside) is beyond comprehension?



High points are as you might expect – the high points on the original: ‘Good Guys Wear Black’ and ‘What Comes Around Goes Around’. Putting the slightly dodgy track selection aside, this is party music that may just have you re-evaluating thinking of Tuff as a second tier ‘hair’ band. They may well have gone on to do better as this re-working shows.





By Mark Diggins