Ontario’s three-piece Born Ruffians makes driving, melodic and stripped down pop, folksy and repetitive like older Modest Mouse, with energized, driving jangle that recalls many a Smiths number.
Bassist Mitch DeRosier keeps every note popping and bounding along the scales and Steve Hamelin beats the drums with discernable vigor, while vocalist Luke LaLonde frantically spit out his vocals in a fervent pitch like the more spastic moments of Talking Heads frontman David Byrne.
With just three songs to go by on the Hummingbird EP, it’s difficult to say what’s to be expected from the eminent full-length, but these three tracks maintain a consistency that is convincing at least. “Hummingbird” over-does it a bit on the spazzy, cheeseball vocal noise-making end end, but makes up for this with a pulsating, writhing instrumentation. “Vonnegut” is a bit more straight-forward, with pleasing vocals but maintaining the same instrumental energy. “Knife” rounds out the sampling with a slower pace, with an elongated, operatic/southern gospel-ish ballad.
Rather unknown, Born Ruffians have sold nearly 13,000 copies of their 2006 self-titled debut; and this sampling of the sophomore effort is pretty cool. If the LP to follow will keeps the same pace and quality, this refreshingly not tearfully twee indie trio has a lot to look forward to.