In the two years since Tough Age's sophomore album, I Get The Feeling Central, the curmudgeonly, comic book-loving band have reinvented themselves. Founding members Jarrett Samson and Penny Clark relocated to Toronto from Vancouver, channeling their love of Flying Nun indie-pop into a new three-piece line-up with drummer Jesse Locke (Century Palm, Simply Saucer). The first glimpse at this new direction was their Guess Not / Unclean 7-inch EP, now followed by their long-awaited third album, Shame.
This is the band's most collaborative effort to date – honing their econo jams on tours across North America and over the sea to Tokyo, while sharing stages with artists such as The Courtneys, HSY, and Woolworm, the trio re-emerged with a fresh set of songs that are simultaneously minimal, dynamically propulsive, and eerily experimental. They limited overdubs and tried to record live in the studio as much as possible, paring down an original set of twenty songs to a sleek eight in 32 minutes.
The prominent placement of a Tough Age poster above Archie Andrews' bed in the TV series Riverdale was a hilarious thrill for the band, but their musical tastes dig much deeper: the influence of New Zealand acts continues to loom large, but there are other less obvious inspirations: early '80s London, ON group The Hippies, the off-kilter drumming of U.S. Maple, and the austere lyricism of The Urinals' "punk haikus."