For fans of: Local Natives, Young the Giant
Born Ruffians are back with a new drummer and their fourth album, RUFF. RUFF returns to the carefree indie rock the band is known for, that is simple and pop-oriented and easy to please. The track list reads off like a teenager’s diary entries about a particularly dramatic senior year, with songs called “Fuck Feelings,” “Don’t Live Up,” “(Eat Shit) We Did It”, “Let Me Get Out”, and “We Made It.”
“Why are you listening to this?” my mother asked me one day while I was driving in the car, blasting Born Ruffians’ Red, Yellow, & Blue album. “It’s annoying. They sound like they’re yelping.”
My mother’s own personal endorsement aside, RUFF offers a few catchy hooks and styles itself on Luke LaLonde’s pitchy, pithy exclamations. The band’s gone through a rough couple of years, and haven’t seemed to recover yet. A lot of the youthful excitement that was featured on their premiere album has been lost in translation. Two quick songs to pick up the chorus to are “& On & On & On” and “(Eat Shit) We Made It,” but most of the songs lost the punch that was so evident earlier. Plus, a song that mostly repeats an expletive isn’t exactly creative or noteworthy.
The band missed an opportunity to completely rebrand themselves and explore deeper subjects. They seem to toe the line with “Fuck Feelings” and “Yawn Tears,” but the indie-pop sound falls flat with any hint of expression outside of “I’m here to party!”
As their self-chosen title suggests, it’s been a RUFF few years for Born Ruffians, and RUFF isn’t excluded from that.
“Don’t Live Up”
“We Made It”
“& On & On & On”