Spencer Thomas Smith’s songs are a kick to the heart that exist beyond current fashions or fads. They go deeper into the real human experience bringing tales of mental ailments and emotional turmoil. His debut record Hangin’ Tough provides those sentiments in a blistering mix of unruly rockers and heartbroken ballads. He reaches for his idols (Tom Petty’s Full Moon Fever and Springsteen’s Darkness on the Edge of Town are particular touchpoints) and lands in a space all his own. The album is full of working-class grit and desire for freedom, for escape from all the trappings of contemporary adult life. Despite the heaviness of the themes, the songs never lose their sense of joy and buoyancy. This is music that gives you the courage to face your struggles head-on, songs that will fight their way through the day alongside with you.