Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Born Ruffians - Red, Yellow and Blue (Warp 2008)

I'm not ashamed that my first experience of Born Ruffians was hearing them in a mobile phone advert then seeing them play the same song while teenagers from 'Skins' wailed with angst. That song was 'Hummingbird' and it's the highlight of the strong second album from the young Toronto trio. Warp, being the strongest electronica label in the world, certainly puts its neck out when it loves indie bands, Born Ruffians and Maximo Park being the main examples, and it's easy to see why the glitchy label labels these boys. They can sure write a spiky pop punk tune with melody and achingly cool basslines and versatile time signatures. This is a consistent constant listening storm all the way through.

There's a definite Vampire Weekend element to the proceedings with the bass being more than a frequency filler and actually providing a lot of the melody, with tinges of Afro-beat indie. Best is when Born Ruffians subtly mess with the traditional forms and time signatures of pop punk to create something off-kilter and catchy. “Foxes Mate for Life” includes an abbreviated half-bar at the end of the riff that gives the song a falling over feeling. This is a bright, optimistic record full of groove and verve and when the ambitious song-writing, they are musicians not to be trifled with. If infectious hummable interesting songs are your thing and you dig your basslines, this is for you.

Born Ruffianspace
Born Officilians

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