Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Good Golly, By Jolly, This Is Really Good! #39

I’ve been having these guys on heavy rotation for quite awhile now; there’s no other music going through my head wherever I go, except for the exuberant blasts of pop chops by the Born Ruffians. These three piece band, all the way from Ontario, Canada sounds like a cross between Animal Collective’s inspired cacophonies, the irregular, disjointed riffs of Good Shoes, and Hot Hot Heat’s sparkling pop propensities.

Their latest full-length debut, Red, Yellow, and Blue, released earlier this month offer listeners with an amusing and fun traverse, as the band entertain you with their brand of glittering indie-rock punches and songs with titles about what else, if not animals ( ‘Hummingbird’, ‘Badonkadonkey’, ‘Barnacle Goose’, ‘Red Elephant’ and ‘Foxes Mate for Life’ ). If you starting to get the idea, that the band is some kind of a joke, rest assured, that it is not. The guys are crazy, to the point that it’s absolutely pointless to deny so, but it’s also a good enough reason to love the Born Ruffians-- for the fact that they’re crazy and quite weird in a still, very much accessible way.

The record is simply strewn with quick, heavy bursts of energy and young, restless vigor projected generously throughout their whirlwinds of jangly guitars and ragged melodies. The opening title track however, stands out from the rest of the crowd for the reason that it strays away from the usual branding. ‘Red, Yellow, and Blue’ brings to mind of a more diluted version, stripped down of all samplings, of the dreamy, flowy charms of Panda Bear’s tunes; the song could find no problem fitting itself between the first and second track in Person Pitch. Being the admirer of Panda Bear’s works, I seem to have taken great interest towards this particular track.

The band fares best at creating rickety, herky jerky pop-rock songs, complete with the obligatory collective chants, vocals used as instruments to great effect and choppy lyrics, that’s perfect for crowd sing-alongs. Despite all of that though, whenever their music assumes the dreary veering of those “Oh-oh-oh’s”, there was a similarity I found between their musical sensibility and our local bands that doesn’t somewhat enthuse me. But given that they are the Born Ruffians, so they do it in a way that even our local bands, can’t quite pull it off as brilliantly as they do. Pitchfork gave the band’s debut a staggering 8.0, while some others have complained on how the entire record just sounds flat throughout, although I personally think the record sounding flat is really not because of the music itself, so much as the quality of the production.

Born Ruffians - Red, Yellow, and Blue

This doesn’t quite stack up to the whole album’s qualities, so I’ll throw in another song for you to get a clearer picture of the Born Ruffians.

|mp3| Born Ruffians - Foxes Mate for Life
Also watch a video of another superb track by the band, called ‘Hummingbird’ here»