Klef Notes

Music Reviews

Tough on Fridays "Self Diagnosis" EP

Just like black panthers and snow leopards, it is rare within today’s music arena to find bold Rockers who just happen to be female.  We rarely get to see Rockers who are not afraid to lay it down with real talk, not afraid to stand in their truths, or those who dare you to adjust your views on a certain subject.  But when we do get a glimpse of Rockers who project such boldness, as well as talent, we not only look – we stare! 

Well, you know what I am about to say, right? I have found one! 

I want to introduce you guys to a band of Rockers from Texas, USA who are just such artists – Tough on Fridays. 

Tough on Fridays’ style of Alternative Rock / Pop Punk is gaining momentum, so I thought it would be Rocking awesome to allow you to do a virtual crowd dive with me. 

This is my interpretation of their latest EP “Self Diagnosis,” a collection of Alternative Rock / Pop Punk songs that play like a music-journal in that each track feature lyrics about discovering what works for you.  And since everyone knows that it sucks when one finds out that their lover is fake, what better way to open an EP than to have a song titled “Fraud” start the musical conversation. 

Fraud is a mid-tempo breakup song that features a qausi blend of instrumentation.  The music production reflects the emotional roller coaster one goes through when they put a period at the end of a "waste of time" relationship.  For instance, the flamboyant guitars and profound drums ride the mellow melody on the verses, while the song spikes within the hook adding a sense of euphoria.

The second song on “Self Diagnosis” is an in-your-face, Neon-Pop track with hints of Rock.  “Open My Mind” lyrically puts into words that inner question, “do you really know me at all?”  The song gets in and out in just two minutes and shows off wild ambitions. The lines “cause I am lost and I may not be found," and "I can’t help but wonder what you might find if you would one day open up my mind," are descriptive and direct.  "Open My Mind" represents the boundary-less direction of classic Alternative music while illustrating that modern distinct “indie” vibe we LOVE! 

October 1” is a song about the fabulousness of Autumn.  Metaphorically, this track can also speak to our souls about being willing to adapt to differences in life, love, and mind.  The lyrics sing, “I have to admit, I miss you October 1 . . . the cold keeps me warm, and I don’t know why . . . leaves are changing, and so am I.”  This Pop Punk cut is held together by that wonderful interwoven effect of the guitars and textured drums.

The EP elevates blazingly with “Little Italy.”

Little Italystarts out with stuttering guitars and is this white-hot song that just resonates with energy containing a narrative about chance encounters and the repercussions of that exotic one-night stand.  Leaving nothing to chance, Caleigh effortlessly uses her guitar to meld with each verse and hook while playing nicely with Katie’s bass - it is like a pop-and-lock series of dance moves, but played on guitars.  LOVE, LOVE, to hear GIRLS ROCK!

Summer” is the truth revealer of the collection.  The ruthlessly honest lyrics illustrate how sometimes things are just not that good, and how you are NOT going to be happy all the time.  Summer’s conversational vocal delivery highlights the honest reality of the song’s message.  And, the HOT instrumentation just takes this practical cut to another level while adding a hint of hope.  With lyrics like:  I’m so sorry for everything I am / I’m so sorry for everything I am . . . underappreciated and barely noticed at all / she’ll be just fine, this song truly speaks to this generation of music buyers and cathartically gives them a wakeup call to recognize what depression is, that it is real, and how putting it down in writing is a start in making it better.  I would love to hear a remix of this track with a slowed-up tempo – that would be rad.

And, what better way to keep the listening audience’s attention than to throw in an audible curveball. 

Retrospect” is a curveball because it is not what you would think it should be.  In truth, it is a song about thinking BACK, remembering; so, the fans would think, BALLAD.  But no, this song features very FORWARD music.  We have the lit aggressive lead vocals that are fire!  We also have interlocking drums that easily becomes the highpoint to the track – you can hear the rhythm and the command of each beat perfectly reflecting the soul of the track.  Nothing left to say but #arenaready! 

“Self Diagnosis” is a commercially ready piece of music.  The drive, ambition, and heart of Tough on Fridays is sharply exposed on this EP.  So GREAT to hear songwriting that is brutally honest and off the cuff; not to mention, it is GREAT to hear compositions that are not so far over the edge with effects and obnoxious storylines that the music gets lost in translation. 

With “Self Diagnosis,” we got the chance to hear lyrics that tell stories that are timeless, and music that bleeds into your soul.  So, I want to applaud the stand-out talent on this EP.  

Caleigh’s songwriting is perfectly in the NOW – it is deep enough to touch on topics that many shy away from, and delicate enough to make you think.  Having songs with substance, as well as vocals and instrumentation that hold-off on ALL limitations, make Tough on Fridays’ sound authentic.  

The additional instrumentation on the EP played by accompanying talents easily expressed every emotion that Tough on Fridays laid onto each track.  They are definitely at the top of their game as musicians. 

And, as Katie exits the band to move on to another part of her life, there are two new tough as nails artists joining Caleigh in Tough on Fridays:  Kelly (bass) and Syd (lead vox).  Yes, the journey continues, and we all know that we are in for one TOUGH ride, because Tough on Fridays’ arrangements, harmonies, independent voices, and progressive beats just doesn’t get your attention, it DEMANDS it!  I’m hooked; I want to hear more! 

If you are in or near the Waco, Texas USA area on August 31st, please make your way to see these bold rockers in concert at the Waco’s Nexus ESports. 

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