Now that both Radiohead and The Strokes are arguably long past their best, the indie world should be on the lookout for the next hot thing. What we have is, in reality, a torrid heap of bands in one corner trying to replicate the riotous stylings of The strokes and, in the other, boys with fringes looking at their shoes and trying to become the next Radiohead with mind numbingly dull results.
Enter Canada's Born Ruffians, who strive to sit musically somewhere in between the two. At times they even pull it off, to some extent. Birthmarks is their debut album, and it kicks off with a meandering vocal line which is almost folky, laid over a minimalist, percussion heavy instrumental track. It is interesting and incredibly hooky; exactly what you would hope for. It is on these hook filled, more pop influenced songs that Born Ruffians really shine. Cold Pop is based around a fidgety bass line and some impressive vocals which go from a Bob Dylan drawl to high pitched wailing. Permanent hesitation is another strong song, taking in almost a disco influence in its verses before breaking to an almost euphoric chorus. This is impressive stuff.
Elsewhere on the album, Born Ruffians take a few more risks and get a little more experimental, which sometimes comes off, as in Rage Flows which is packed with twists and turns, and the album's sombre ballad to finish, Never Age which features some incredibly tasteful piano and guitar interplay.
Continue reading: Born Ruffians - Birthmarks Album Review
Born Ruffians release What To Say through Warp Records on May 24th 2010, this is the first single from their second album 'Say It' which will follow on May 31st. Born Ruffians have created quite a name for themselves with their inventive videos and What To Say is no exception, directed by Jared Raab he worked with artist/computer programmer Rob Bairos to create the effects achieved in the video.
Continue: Born Ruffians - What To Say