The Tufted Puffins
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The Tufted Puffins

Cleveland, OH | Established. Jan 01, 2014

Cleveland, OH
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Garage Rock





Cleveland band, The Tufted Puffins, stopped in for a session on Saturday, October 3rd. The band consisting of members, Mark Smith, Mike Baker, Tom Huff, and Ken Brown have played several local venues such as Beachland Ballroom and Pats In The Flats, a local Cleveland bar that features original live music. On Saturday the bandmates tracked the basics, two guitars, bass, drums, and vocals, to lay the groundwork for the 4 songs they hope to complete by the end of November this year.

We are still waiting to hear if there will be a possible EP release announcement in the near future. Either way, we are eager to hear what is in store for The Tufted Puffins. -

"Veteran Local Punk Rockers’ New Band The Tufted Puffins Releases CD @BeachlandCle"

The Tufted Puffins are a new band on the Cleveland music scene, but the players have been around a while. Vocalist Mike Baker, bassist Ken Brown, guitarist Tom Huff and drummer Markymoon were active in the punk/underground communities of Cleveland, Kent and Akron in the ’80s and ’90s. (Some may remember Baker from the memorably named Sleazy Jesus & the Splatter Pigs, while also featured Brown).

They’re back to create more mayhem under a new name. They’ll kick things into a higher gear with the release of a four-song CD called Demonstrations at the Beachland Tavern. 45 Spider and Balloon Knot are also on the bill. Admission is $8. - Cool Cleveland


Full disclosure here, I’ve known Tom Huff, lead guitar in the Tufted Puffins since at least 2009, when tGDM played with his band Goburn. Heck, supercorrupter did a show with The Tufted Puffins back in December of 2015.

This EP, simply titled ‘Demonstration,’ was independently released in January 2016. You can preview it on Reverbnation, and probably buy it from them in person. They’ve been gigging pretty steadily for the past few months all over Northeast Ohio, so you should be able to check them out live if you want. They’re a four piece based around drums, bass, lead and rhythm guitar (vocals come from rhythm guitarist Mike Baker).

The band plays what I consider a “classic” sounding punk rock. The songs are all tight and concise and to the point, but also intelligent and annoyed. This isn’t the garbage that gets passed off as mainstream punk today. The more I listen to this, the more it reminds me of the Buzzcocks, with elements of The Dead Boys and The Stooges added in. While the songs themselves are catchy, I think it’s the quality of the lyrics that sells me on the band. A band like this isn’t as much about the almighty riff as much as the tunefulness of the song, so don’t expect any big breakdowns or fist-pounders or anything.

Sonically, this is a really clean-sounding record. I’m left wanting more after the 12 minutes of songs is over. Check them out. – Jason

Coulda Been You – There’s a fake-out ending in this tune that works really well. It’s probably my favorite part of the song. The chorus backing vocals (ooo ooos) are also a simple, but nice touch. This song has a slightly different vibe than the rest of the EP, and while it’s a good song, I think I like the other three tracks more. This one feels the most like The Buzzcocks to me. It would sound right in place on “Love Bites.”

Diamond In The Rough – This tune is based around a stuttering hop of a riff and it works really well. I think it’s a timeless tale of the woebegone loser selling his merits to the girl of his dreams (in a non-traditional way), and feels like it could have come out in 1977 or 1985 or really whenever. Bonus points for including the word “fauntleroys” in the lyrics. I think this is my second favorite tune on the EP.

In America – The bassline that builds out this tune sounds like something McCartney would have played. Again, a really catchy tune but with some dark lyrics (“I’d like to put your pretty face right through a window, and just see how far you go without your little button nose and all your chic designer clothes, here in America.”). This is a good song, and really lets the bass shine.

It’s Up To You – This is my favorite song on the EP, probably because it’s got a thicker, more driving riff propelling it along. This isn’t that far off from being an almost desert-rock kind of tune. Huff’s lead here is rough in a good way, leading the song out to an abrupt end. - SUPERCORRUPTER

"It's Simply A Miracle That I Can Even Think: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Artists, Pt. 22"

The Tufted Puffins - Demonstration - self-released - 4 songs - CD

Okay, I'm gonna start out this review on an iffy note and just say that I don't know what's up with the name. I'm sure there's some meaning behind Tufted Puffins, but it's just so…I don't want to say disappointing, but tame, especially knowing that this band features former members of bands like Burning Lesbians, Zen Luv Assassins, and Sleazy Jesus & The Splatter Pigs. Anyway, now that I've dissed their name, let's get to the music. "Coulda Been You" is a mega-catchy punk rock number with great harmonies/backing vocals. The following track, "Diamond In The Rough," has a total '60s garage rock feel to it, kind of like it was pulled right off of Nuggets or one of the thousands of other '60s garage punk comps. It kinda sounds like The Sonics meet The Stooges, which is pretty cool. After that is "Living In America," which finds the band going psychedelic, with a bassline ripped nearly straight from the Beatles' "Taxman." Only steal from the best, I guess. The lyrics are far from '60s love and peace, however – at one point, our narrator describes wanting to shove someone's face through a window. That's pretty punk, I suppose. The final track is "It's Up To You," a '70s-esque punk/hard rock song. Also, the super-fast kick drum is a nice touch, and a pretty unexpected one. I wasn't expecting heavy metal drumming to show up on this. As this CD is only 4 songs and clocks in at a little under twelve and a half minutes, it definitely leaves you wanting more. This is way better than I was expecting, I guess because of the name, but hey. It was good! 4/5 - The Lakewood Observer


Still working on that hot first release.



The Tufted Puffins is a re-emergence of musicians from numerous local bands of note in the volatile 80's and 90's Cleveland / Kent / Akron scene. It was a time when Devo, The Dead Boys, The Pagans, Tin Huey, and Pere Ubu were local bar bands. The music is a high energy blending of Garage Punk and Rock and Roll. Having been through it all before, the Puffins are in the perfect space to focus on the music and ignore the BS. As a part of the burgeoning Cleveland music scene we're surrounded by great bands and venues and audiences that other towns would kill for. It's a band of seasoned musicians who just want to play for the pure joy of raucous music.

But don't be fooled into thinking this is another lame punk revival band! The Tufted Puffins take the stage with a fierceness that only veteran punk rockers understand. Forged in the fires of the Cleveland rock and roll tradition; angry aggression mixed with sarcastic goofiness; the Puffins bring a fresh new sound along with true authenticity. Jagged hooks, screaming guitars, pounding drums, all mix with a new sense of melody and tricky song writing that gives the Tufted Puffins their own unique sound.

Mike Baker – Vocals, Guitar

The creator of notorious Cleveland bands Sleazy Jesus and the Splatter Pigs and Hucklebuck, Mike has been a thorn in the side of the establishment for decades. Older and maybe wiser, he chooses to be not so controversial for a change but can still write a wickedly hooky song and lay it all out on stage.

Ken Brown – Bass

Ken hit Cleveland in the eighties from Boston and got sucked in by Baker to become the bass player for Sleazy Jesus and the Splatter Pigs. They’ve played together on and off ever since. Ken also played in the very intense Ten Tons of Hell. An accomplished musician and audio engineer, Ken runs his own recording studio and plays for various theatre orchestras and other musical projects.

Tom Huff – Guitar

Tom formerly played in Burning Lesbians with Dave Cintron, Sam Ludwig and Scott Pickering. Since then he has made amazing music as a recording artist under the name a 2lb.Spread! and was featured in Alternative Press for that project as well as several other projects.

markymoon  – Drums

He's a big guy with an even bigger sound. He has slapped the skins for Zen-Luv Assassins, Professional Againsters, Roscoe Disposal Co., 2lb. Spread! Cathedral 45 and Final Solution.

markymoon brings the thunder with a rumbling double bass and exploding toms. He provides the speeding locomotion that drives the Puffin's roaring sound.

Band Members