Born Ruffians Red Yellow and Blue Review

Originally written in 2008

Many people may dismiss Red Yellow And Blue after a listen or two (yeah I’m looking at you Tim Perlich). I feel sorry for those people because Born Ruffians latest album is a great one. As it’s a grower, I wasn’t overly impressed on first listen. You need to give it time to bloom, I did, and it’s become my favourite albums released so far this year.

On first listen the only tracks to catch my attention was Badonkadonkey and Kurt Vonnegut. Badonkadonkey is a very catchy simple three cord affair. While it was my favourite track on first listen, it lacks the depth of the rest of the record; I just didn’t see it yet. Kurt Vonnegut was the next track to catch my attention. I found myself humming that chorus in my head over and over “won’t you come outside love, won’t you come outside, won’t you please be mine love, won’t you come outside”.  It’s catchy like Badonkadonkey but has a bit more depth and is still one of my favourite tracks on the record. It was these two tracks that kept me coming back after the first few listens, but it wasn’t long before I began to appreciate the album as a whole.

The title track is slower and quieter than the rest of the album and makes a great start to the record. The album picks up steam and the band really shows their chops with the second track, Barnacle Goose. There isn’t a bad track on this record, and each one brings something different to the table. Born Ruffians don’t fill the stage with an ensemble of instruments or backing female vocals. They’re just a three piece band; with a bass, guitar, and drums. Somehow they take this sparse arrangement and emerge with something quite refreshing. Their sound is twitchy, jangly and restless, and to keep things interesting they often change direction mid song. This is a well produced album and the band owes a lot to Rusty Santos who also helped Animal Collective craft their record.

Born Ruffians are not a pretentious indie band. Their sound is quite genuine, almost to a fault. Red Yellow And Blue’s sincere and somewhat adolescent lyrics remind me just how young Born Ruffians actually are. Some may find the vocals a bit whinny and bare some resemblance to Clap Your Hands, Say Yeah. But as I said it’s a grower and if you can get past that, the album reveals itself as a real pleasure to listen too. The album is a bit quirky and isn’t for everyone. But if you like quirky indie bands like Boats, Sunset Rubdown or Tokyo Police Club; you’ll love this album. Simply put, Red Yellow And Blue is a fun sing a long, foot stomping, and clap happy good time.

Score: 8.0

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Dave Loft

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