Bike Tuff
Gig Seeker Pro

Bike Tuff

Kalamazoo, MI | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | INDIE

Kalamazoo, MI | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2009
Band Alternative Punk




"Artist Spotlight: Bike Tuff"

Bike Tuff is a very rad band from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Although unfortunately, they’re not in some kind of BMX gang, as Mason explains – “The name Bike Tuff is a reference to the band Latterman from Long Island, NY. Latterman was a very influential band for me during my later teenage years. Lyrically, they conveyed a message that really struck home, and the urgency of their delivery was spot on. At the end of their song, Video Games and Fantasy Novels are Fucking Awesome!, you can hear someone yelling “bike tuff!” in the background. We thought it was a fun way to pay a little homage to a band that was so significant to us.”

While it’s definitely possible to spot the Latterman influence in their sound, it’s tricky to place Bike Tuff inside any one genre – although anchored in punk, there’s hints of pop-punk and traces of post-hardcore if you delve deep enough. It definitely has strong leanings towards that classic 90s emo sound. “While I don’t believe the genre ever “died,” there certainly has been a resurgence in younger bands that are taking a lot of influence from bands like Jimmy Eat World, The Get Up Kids, Weezer, etc., ourselves included. I think it’s partly a nostalgia thing from growing up in the 90’s and not connecting with a lot of the popular music of the later 2000’s. There are a lot of awesome bands that fall into the gray areas between emo, alternative rock, and pop punk that just have this sort of sonic timelessness. It’s no surprise that bands have been reaching back and trying to rekindle some of that spirit,” says Mason. And yet no part of Into Shore seems overly nostalgic. Of course, there are nods – ‘Vincere Vel Mori’, for example, could easily have been taken from Hot Water Music’s classic Fuel For The Hate Game were it not for the infusion of bouncy pop-punk chords throughout. However, Into Shore feels completely fresh and is entirely captivating.

Instead, Into Shore can be better described as honest, fun, and made with care. And it’s the product of a lot of hard work and the time taken to perfect their efforts – despite forming in 2009, Into Shore is Bike Tuff’s debut full-length. “School, work, living in different cities…the list of things that contributed to the extended timeline is numerous,” says Mason. “It also took a bit of time to save up money for recording and getting CD’s pressed. Aside from that, we deliberately took our time with the full length. We wanted to make sure that the songs we had were something that we’d be proud of 10 years down the road. That said, I think the follow up to Into Shore won’t take nearly as long.” It would be very difficult to disagree – there isn’t a single duff track to be found on the record; every song has at least one line or one hook that’ll sink deep into your heart. They’re also designed with a live audience in mind. Bike Tuff like it fast and loud, and preferably in as low key a venue as possible. “First and foremost, when we’re writing a new song, we’re thinking of how it will sound in a live setting. We practice in a pretty soggy basement, so it’s not hard to gauge how a song will translate. I think it really comes down to where we’re most comfortable. The best shows to play are the ones in basements where your best friends are right in front of you, yelling the words back in your face.” It’s a good mentality to have and that level of passion comes through consistently throughout Into Shore. It’s irresistible to just totally lose yourself in tracks like ‘Los Plantanos’ – showcasing a killer solo and one hell of a gang shout, it’s the kind of anthem that deserves to be blasted out wherever and whenever possible. While Into Shore has plenty of amazing musical moments, it also has some very special lyrical ones. It would be impossible to talk about Into Shore without mentioning the strong lyrical threads that bind the album together. It’s a record about love, loss, friendship and self-discovery – it’s a record that speaks to everyone on some level, and as the lyricist, Mason explains just how important that is – “I love the music we play, and having the four of us hammer out the music to a piece while adding our own personal touches to each part is a great creative feeling. As the lyricist though, I feel that the underlying music is a vessel to help the words come across in the most powerful and meaningful way possible. I write with the hope that the lyrics can stand on their own without music. I never try to write any fluff. I want all my lyrics to carry purpose within the song / overall story or picture I am trying to paint. Throwaway rhymes may sound nice, but they don’t do much for me.” It’s this keen sense of honesty that penetrates deeply through Into Shore. In a world where Ronnie Radke is still allowed to release records, albums like this are vital – grounded in emotion and memory, Into Shore is pretty wonderful.

Into Shore was self released via Bandcamp, and Bike Tuff are part of a growing community that are taking direct control of their music – “Self-releasing Into Shore allowed us to have complete control over the timing of the release. That was the biggest factor. After taking so much time to write and record, we just wanted everyone to hear the songs,” says Mason. “I think the DIY ethos is something that comes naturally to us, just because there wasn’t ever really an alternative. Back when Steve and I were 18, we decided we wanted to tour with our ska band, so we just hit up a bunch of places out of state and made it happen. I think that really opened our eyes to what was possible.” But that key DIY ethos is definitely not the only thing that Bike Tuff have picked up from the Midwestern punk scene – they have spme epic facial hair. When quizzed on how best to maintain their beards, Mason replied “No secrets here. We simply shave the hair off stray cats and adhere it to our faces with super glue. Our bassist Joel cuddles with the cats at night so they don’t get cold.”

Bike Tuff is Mason, Greg, Steve and Joel. We strongly recommend that you check out Into Shore and a few of their other releases on Bandcamp. - Two Beats Off

"Review: Bike Tuff- S.U.D.S. EP"

Michigan local band Bike Tuff is bringing back punk!

Miss the good old days of punk rock? When you used to spend too much time in too many basements throwing down and thrashing about to the grungy raw tunes of your angsty youth? Have no fear, you needn’t look at Punk with such nostalgia. Bike Tuff presents everything you needed/missed in a garage/basement punk band. Raw emotions and vocals are laden in raw, grungy punk melodies and riffs that will surely have you spilling beer shirtless in khaki shorts, white socks, and converse.

But Bike Tuff isn’t all about being rough and gritty. This fast-paced punk E.P. offers a lot of heart with relatable lyrics and an honest presentation of them (aka, no repeating choruses over and over and fucking over again). My only worry is that they might fall into that same “one-note-coarse-instruments” trap that a lot of punk bands fall in. These tracks can run into each other rather easily (with the exception of ‘East Hall Shoes’).

Bike Tuff has a lot of potential as a punk band. This E.P. is a great, refreshing, honest start for them. I look forward to listening (and reviewing) future releases. Bike Tuff is definitely worth keeping your eyes and ears on.

8/10 - Ouch That Hertz!

"Bike Tuff - Into Shore"

Now that we're on topic with Hot Water Music soundalikes with my previous review of The Sky We Scrape, I might as well introduce you to yet another band that cherishes the beloved Gainesville punk rock sound with the classic "don't fix it if it ain't broken" attitude. Bike Tuff, who hail from Michigan, channel their inner appreciation for all things HWM, Latterman, and Small Brown Bike on their debut album "Into Shore", which basically follows the usual structure of bands that sound like them: a hint of anthemic in their delivery, a ton of gravel and gruffness to the vocals, and basic, basement style punk rock riffs that have been embedded with a tiny hint of complexity to separate them from the Midwestern and So-Cal scenes.

Hence, "Into Shore" is effectively a product of its influences, and since this happens to be primarily bands that play The Fest with HWM at the forefront, it sounds practically identical to all the other bands playing this style. But you know what? That's okay, because they pack enough passion and energy into their songs for it not to matter especially around the mid-album highlight reel between "Baby, You're An Anarchist" (note: not an Against Me! cover), "The Matlock Expressway", "Los Plantanos", and "Sweet Berry Wine". These are all catchy basement style punk songs that'll incite small sing alongs amongst those who know them, even if they can't exactly be called original per se.

What does drag "Into Shore" down ½ to 1 grade is that the songwriting can be slightly inconsistent. Where the highlights are very clearly solid tracks in the genre, there are a lot of tracks that pass by relatively unnoticed in the grand scheme of things. Either they are slower, less loud, or just simply not catchy enough, but they lack the same songwriting prowess as the tracks I've already mentioned in this review. This leaves some room for improvement for their next record, but for now, many a basement owner will be happy to see them play their venue in the near future nonetheless.

7/10 -

"Album Review :: Bike Tuff :: Into Shore"

I know, I know, I am a bit behind the curve on this one. Into Shore, Bike Tuff’s debut full length has been out for a few months and it is pretty damned awesome. It is an album about music and having a good time making it. I don’t know how many of you go to the links in these reviews, so I am going to shove Bike Tuff’s bio in here, because it tells you everything that will make you love the band before you even hear the record. “Hailing from the ‘farm belt’ that rolls across Southern Michigan, we don't have an elaborate agenda for Bike Tuff. We have beards because we can't always afford razors, we play fast because half the dudes are from Jersey, and we love playing in basements because there's no stage for us to fall off of.”

Into Shore is a punk rock record that manipulates elements of pop punk, indie, and emo, constantly bringing together contradictory elements to create a style of music that is pretty striking. One track can go from hard fast punk rock to a melodic sing along or a slow emo track that gains intensity and passion or the tracks where the music is heavy but the vocals are slow and delicate.

I could talk about each track because they each have their own style and personality. Oak Street Market is a super catchy pop punk / indie hybrid that is over flowing with energy. This Canada House Is Not a Home has a great voice - a bit strained and a bit snotty and the music is fast and aggressive, this is the most classic punk sounding track track. Black Book is a slow emo track with powerful music behind it. Baby, You’re an Anarchist is a pop punk track that progresses into one huge sing along. The Matlock Expressway is fast, a bit thrashy, and a bit strained. Los Plantanos has great heavy music with the greatest layered vocal seconds that you will be singing along to.

The album ends with VincereVel Mori a slow creepy song with heavy music and a hook buried beneath it. You may not notice it before it takes hold of you.

This album is one that gets better with every listen, the more it seeps into you, the more you feel it, the more you understand it on some visceral level. - Andrea Janov, CC2K Music Editor

"TRACK OF THE WEEK: “Los Plantanos” by Bike Tuff"

A fresh face in the punk scene, local rockers Bike Tuff produce authentic indie/emo/punk music that’s a little more thoughtfully crafted than is usually the case.

Hailing from Southern Michigan (mostly), this quartet is made up of brothers Steve and Greg Brewer, Nathan Richards and Joel Bloxsom. Together since 2008, they’ve released an initial EP, 2009’s S.U.D.S., and contributed a track to the 2012 tribute album Either/Or Sucks: A Tribute to The Descendants. Their latest effort, Into Shore, displays a songwriting craft and general musical ability that can be elusive for the genre.

While the opening track is harsh, the aggression dissipates as the album progresses, shifting towards a more classic approach with nice harmonies, strong and consistent song structures, and solid musicianship, much more reminiscent of King’s X and (especially) Galactic Cowboys than Fugazi or Bad Brains.

Unfortunately, that consistency makes choosing just one song pretty tough, but “Los Plantanos” edges ahead of the other contenders here, although “Sweet Berry Wine” (any band that references Tim & Eric can’t suck) and “Eraser Head” (same goes for David Lynch) are both excellent runners up.

Again, the album is Into Shore, and its available from both the band’s personal website or their Bandcamp for a measly $6. - Revue

"Bike Tuff Releases Full Length"

Two things in Michigan music really caught my attention this week. The first was my introduction to Kalamazoo indie-punk band Bike Tuff, which happened to be by way of their debut album. It’s set to be released on April 15th, but you can stream a couple songs off the record from their bandcamp page. Think of classic Against Me! style vocals and aggression with the added catchiness of their latter albums. They’ve also got a couple other releases on their bandcamp that are worth checking out, one of them being a split with Lansing’s Homelife. I’m kicking myself for not listening to these guys earlier. - Mostly Midwest

"Bike Tuff Spotlight"

Stream the recently released album ‘Into Shore’ by Bike Tuff. A collection of songs from a band we highly recommend. - Rock Sound

"Bike Tuff to re-release ‘Into Shore’ on vinyl through Between The Days"

Michigan’s Bike Tuff have announced they’ll be re-releasing their debut album, Into Shore, on vinyl through the good folks over at Between The Days Records.

Into Shore was originally released on CD and digital formats in 2013. The 12-track album is the emo-tinged punks’ first full length. The new vinyl release will be pressed into three variants: 100 white with red splatter, 100 blue and white marble and 100 black. The vinyl will also include a limited-edition piece of artwork from Travis Lacey.

Bike Tuff also has a few tour dates coming up this February with The Penske Files.

Tour dates:
Feb 5 – London, ON
Feb 6 – Windsor, ON
Feb 7 – Detroit, MI
Feb 12 – Kalamazoo, MI
Feb 13 – Grand Rapids , MI
Feb 14 – Ft. Wayne, IN

Pre-orders for Bike Tuff’s Into Shore on vinyl are not quite ready yet, but should be up sometime in February for the LP’s mid-March release. In the mean time you can check out the band’s Bandcamp here and listen to the album. - For the Love of Punk


Into Shore (LP, 2013)
Split with Homelife (Split EP, 2010)
S.U.D.S (EP, 2009)



Bike Tuff take a no-bullshit approach to punk rock. Their sound has been crafted in basements across the midwest over the years, with hints of speed and aggression laced with melody and reflection. With their most recent release, Into Shore, the band have elevated their sound more than ever, with anthemic verses, catchy choruses and loads of energy. Fans of pop-punk and more aggressive punk will both find stuff to love with Bike Tuff.