Review: TUGG – Home Brew EP

Review: TUGG – Home Brew EP

TUGG – Home Brew EP
Track Listing:
1.) Moonlight
2.) Johnny Exile
3.) Island Dreaming
4.) So Good
5.) Babylon Bred

The Pier Album Rating:

Release Date: December 17th, 2011
Record Label: Last Call Records
Official Website: TUGG Website

Group Background:
As one of the Midwest’s finest staples to the reggae-rock community, T.U.G.G. is notorious for their tropical vibes, breezy melodies, and living-the-life message. Their holiday gift to reggae devotees across the nation is Homebrew EP, a five-song expansion upon their acoustic and reggae inclinations.

Originally planned as an acoustic release, T.U.G.G. couldn’t help but develop a number of these songs into rhythmic feel-good anthems. The EP debuts five tracks that were written and recorded by T.U.G.G amidst their stomping grounds in western Wisconsin. Furthermore, Homebrew EP was mastered at the ever-so-popular 17th street recording studio in Costa Mesa, California.

Album Review:
Having a hard work ethic and superior musicianship can only take you so far; to gain a loyal following, musicians must discover what it is that fans admire and expand. With that the Cheese heads TUGG found their calling awhile ago, meshing their talents into an acoustically-driven reggae style, accompanied by feelings of good hope, love, and about returning to paradise.

Amongst the five songs on Home Brew EP, two of them have purely acoustic progressions fueled by the bongos. In So Good, TUGG reminisces about the spicy weather of summer, as the music induces a warm feeling as well. I liked the smooth brass melodies in this song, but this is the only song they grace Home Brew EP’s musical presence.

“Moonlight” is another favorite on Home Brew EP. In the song, they sing about taking it slow, even in anticipation for something. “My feelings take control, cuz they will if you let them”. I enjoy the back-up vocals in the song, always rebutting against nearly every line lead singer Andy Hughes sings. Tugg even outsourced the voices of Midwestern friend Josh Heinrichs and Simeon, lead-singer for Outlaw Nation in the song titled “Babylon Bred”. It was pretty neat when they were all singing together by the end of the song, inspired by Rastafarian ideals and metaphors.

Overall, Tugg has pieced together another solid collection with Home Brew EP. As any good EP does, it makes me wonder what is in store for the Wisconsin natives. Is this a taste of something bigger? If so, reggae fans won’t be upset given the positivity and feel-good harmonies Tugg flashed with their Christmas-time EP, that hit #2 on iTunes’s reggae charts within days of its release.

Written & Reviewed by: Matt Emodi

Here is a promo video for the Home Brew EP…

[Editors Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer, expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, not the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]