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Born Ruffians



UPC: 634457270534

Format: LP

Regular price $18.95
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Canada's Born Ruffians continue to hone their exuberant sound on their sixth album, 2020's punchy and inspired Juice. Produced by Graham Walsh, who has previously worked on similarly inventive efforts by Alvvays, !!!, and Holy Fuck, Juice is a live-sounding album, full of hooky shouted choruses, and tactile, analog instrumentation. Once again featured here is the core Born Ruffians power trio of guitarist/vocalist Luke Lalonde, bassist Mitch DeRosier, and drummer Steve Hamelin. It's the second album the group has recorded since the return of Hamelin, who left after 2013's Birthmarks and returned in time for 2018's equally inspired Uncle, Duke & Chief. The band dives headlong into a vibrant set of high-energy songs that evoke a mix of alt-rock influences like Pixies and Weezer. Kicking off the album is the grandly anthemic "I Fall in Love Every Night," which finds them augmenting their sound with a jazzy horn section and piano. Like a barroom Elton John number, the song moves from rubato sections to a propulsive chorus to a daring bridge section replete with saxophone solo, before ending a spiral of throaty "whoas" and shimmering organ decrescendo. It's an absolutely bashing way to start the album, and perfectly sets the tone for the organic sounds to come as they dig into an angular post-punk rhythm on "Dedication," and croon with swagger through the throaty lounge garage rock of "I'm Fine." Elsewhere, they evoke late-'80s new wave vibes joining singer Maddy Wilde on the atmospheric "Hey You," and settle into the twangy, Flaming Lips-esque groove of "Squeaky." ~ Matt Collar