Tuff Tuff Tuff
REVIEW BY: Chris Harlow
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 07/15/2004
OK. Let me clarify the obvious question being asked right now.
Yes. You are reading the band name in this review correctly. Lo and behold, there is actually a band named the Backstreet Girls which is comprised of four boys, not to be confused with the four gir…err, I mean boys that formed the 1990's pinup pop band known worldwide as the Backstreet Boys. And guess what - they've been around twenty years, which easily predates their American siblings. Sparing further confusion between the two bands, it needs to be noted that it's Norway's Backstreet Girls that actually attempt to rock and not the Boys. Got it?
Well, future clarifications will only get easier as the songs on Tuff Tuff Tuff won't confuse anyone as being anything but tracks derivative of the rock stylings of AC/DC, perfected. It's hard to offer up much defense in using such a tired comparison when describing what a rock band these days sounds like, but rock legend has it that it was the Backstreet Girls that gave the world a previous album titled Hellway to High. Furthermore, the band declares in the Tuff Tuff Tuff liner notes that "this album is perfect for parties and should be played at absolute maximum volume!!!" For writers my age, this declaration means only one thing and….
…1980 it's not. Repeated listens of Tuff Tuff Tuff won't make you forget Back in Black or the keggers during that decade which cemented the Young brothers' album into legendary status. Lyrically, the songs on Tuff Tuff Tuff are equally as simple as the ones of their Aussie forefathers, but lack any comparable innuendo that AC/DC littered throughout their albums - sexual or otherwise. And it's for that reason, in this writer's humble opinion, that AC/DC songs will be remembered and even revered as such cleverness is the primary reason their albums are owned by the millions. On the flip side, the lack of creativity is exactly why the Backstreet Girls songs on Tuff Tuff Tuff are easily forgotten and owned by the minions.
Harsh criticism, eh? Even when the band steps up and covers the Rose Tattoo song "Magnum Maid," the thought hits me that the vocalist, Bjørn Müller, is severely lacking a chainsaw as I hear him double the voice of Jackyl's Jesse James Dupree. Again, the Backstreet Girls lack the schtick to make such simple musical arrangements interesting.
A not-so-obvious introduction can only mean an obvious conclusion to this review. Go see these songs performed at a gig when the band rolls through town. And don't forget to drink a lot of beer first, as Tuff Tuff Tuff is nothing better than bar band fare.