Red Yellow & Blue
March 4th 2008
This Toronto trio has finally released a full length. While they receive relatively little press, Born Ruffians deserve volumes. Red Yellow & Blue has a lot of the same charm as their intensely hip 2006 self-titled debut EP, even if it is less quirky and more refined. Not to say these guys take themselves too seriously. Quite the opposite is true. The glossed nature of Red Yellow & Blue comes completely from production quality. If their self-titled is The Velvet Underground & Nico, then Red Yellow & Blue is Transformer.
Guitarist and singer Luke Lolonde has an obsession with quaint and extended utterances like “whoa,” “oh,” and “ho!” There is hardly a song that neglects this tendency. At points the extended vowels seem not to be much more than vocal gymnastics aimed at annoying the unfamiliar ear, but these persistent melodiums give Born Ruffians a stylistic distinction that lacks in so much of today’s up-and-comers. Lolonde’s high pitched croon solicits a knee-jerk compulsion to move to the groove of the motha fuckin’ music. He unassumingly plays his guitar like a drum. Rather than play separate and complimentary parts, the drum, bass, and guitar combine into a focused and purposeful beat, all telling the listener to do the same thing. Dance bitch!
Red Yellow & Blue is long enough to include a few soft songs like Little Garçon played to the melody of a French squeeze box and harmonica. The slower, more subtle tracks of the record give it more variety than the blanket high energy of their 2006 release. The only real mistake of the record was the needless reworking of Hedonistic Me, which is the only song harvested from their debut EP. The original was grittier and comparatively raw, but its newest incarnation does not improve it. So why reuse it?
Born Ruffians are fun, creative, and original. They are wholly representative of our generation and yet they are entirely unepic. Red Yellow & Blue may not be quite as delicious as their first EP, but it definitely doesn’t disappoint. Born Ruffians are a great band and have as much of my attention as their ADHD brains can handle. When they return to New York City I promise they will be greeted enthusiastically by the masses. These guys are good and you should listen to them- even when you aren’t drunk.
Born Ruffians- 2006
Mar 14th 11:00PM @ SXSW- Austin, Texas
Mar 15th 9:00PM @ Hailey’s- Denton, Texas
Mar 17th 9:00PM @ Rhythm Room- Pheonix, Arizona
Mar 18th 9:00PM @ Casbah- San Diego, California
Mar 19th 9:00PM @ Echo- Los Angeles, California
Mar 20th 9:00PM @ Bottom of the Hill- San Francisco, California
Mar 21st 9:00PM @ Holocene- Portland, Oregon
Mar 22nd 9:00PM @ High Dive- Seattle, Washington
Mar 25th 9:00PM @ Lucky Bar- Victoria, British Columbia
Mar 26th 9:00PM @ The Media Club- Vancouver, British Columbia
Mar 28th 9:00PM @ The Velvet Underground- Edmonton, Alberta
Mar 29th 9:00PM @ The Hi Fi Club- Calgary, Alberta
Mar 30th 9:00PM @ Amigo’s Cafe- Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Mar 31st 9:00PM @ West End Cultural Centre- Winnipeg, Manitoba
Apr 1st 9:00PM @ 7th Street Entry- Minneapolis, Minnesota
Apr 2nd 9:00PM @ Empty Bottle- Chicago, Illinois
Apr 3rd 9:00PM @ Grog Shop- Cleveland, Ohio
Apr 4th 9:00PM @ Pike Room- Pontiac, Michigan
Apr 10th 9:00PM @ Casbah- Hamilton, Ontario
Apr 11th 9:00PM @ Ford Plant- Brantford, Ontario
Apr 12th 9:00PM @ Call the Office- London, Ontario
Apr 17th 9:00PM @ Zaphod’s- Ottawa, Ontario
Apr 18th 9:00PM @ Grad Club- Kingston, Ontario
Apr 19th 9:00PM @ Casa- Montreal, Quebec
Apr 24th 9:00PM @ Vinyl- Guelph, Ontario
Apr 26th 9:00PM @ Lee’s Palace- Toronto, Ontario