Reviews Music Born Ruffians — Say It

Born Ruffians — Say It

artist - album_title
Born RuffiansSay It
Warp Records; 2010
10 Tracks; CD, LP


Review by: Sean McNamara

Toronto-based threesome return sounding less frantic and more focused.

I remember hearing the Born Ruffians debut album Red, Yellow & Blue and being amazed at how their music resembled an audio version of a roller coaster... but in the best possible way! Steven Hamelin crashing drums in and out throughout entire songs, Mitch DeRosier providing steady bass lines that would jump around at times, and Luke Lalonde (vocals, guitar) singing wildly over simple, well-placed guitar hooks. Well, Say It is pretty similar in some ways, however it sounds more focused and less jumpy.

"Oh Man" starts the album off with a rolling, groove-ridden feeling that has that typical Born Ruffians folk-meets-pop sound, and "Retard Canard" will remind you of everything you loved about this band to begin with, although perhaps the lyrics are a bit darker than we are used to (I don't want to start a flame in your heart / I just want to set the world on fire). "The Ballad Of Moose Bruce" could be the highlight of Say It, with it's chugging drums, perfectly placed guitar stabs, and vocals that build in intensity toward the end of the song. Not to mention, what a great song title! Second best Born Ruffians have had, only to "Badonkadonkey" off the last album. Towards the end of the album, "Come Back" features a sunny, uplifting guitar, as well as some saxophone to great results.

Ok, it might not smack you upside the head the way their first album did. However, this enjoyable effort shows that the Born Ruffians are maturing, tightening up their sound a little, and becoming comfortable writing slightly different types of songs.