Reviewed by: Fareeha Naim
This fourth album from Canadian indie rock band Born Ruffians is raw, jumpy, and unpredictable. Following their 2013 album Birthmarks, RUFF is a new take on experimental indie. As a saying goes, “there’s a method to the madness,” and this fourth album creates a strikingly innovative sound. Spastic beats, cutting riffs, and a whirlwind of emotions, RUFF is an impressive listen that changes every time you play it.
Opening with the agitated “Don’t Let Up” that seems to take a pop turn somewhere in the middle, it immediately sets the tone for what’s to be expected from the rest of the album. The frustrated, idiosyncratic edge the tracks take on are further exemplified through titles like “Fuck Feelings,” “Stupid Dream,” “When Things Get Pointless I Roll Away,” and my personal favorite, “(Eat Shit) We Did It.” Expertly crafted rhythms and lyrics make the frantic edge necessary in all the songs, giving them a new life and meaning. The lead single, “We Made It,” features both explosive beats and swaying rhythms, interlocked with frontman Luke Lalonde’s raw vocals. The tracks vary from manic to minimal, throwing themselves from one extreme to the other seamlessly.
The whole album feels like a giant mood swing, taking you back to the angst-ridden teenage years where nothing felt right and the world was against you. Desperation, anxiety, exasperation, indifference, and defeat are all covered, accurately summing up difficult points in life. This is definitely an album I’ll have on repeat when I’m feeling everything and nothing all at once.