Born Ruffians

Saturday, March 22

Over the past few years, Warp Records, which since the early '90s has

been putting out some of the most forward-thinking electronic albums,

has been venturing into more rock/pop territory. But the label is, and

has always upheld its reputation as being, one step ahead of the

curve—now, instead of primarily focusing on reclusive production

freaks, it's propelling bands like Grizzly Bear, Battles, and the

Toronto pop threesome Born Ruffians further into the spotlight. Born

Ruffians are particularly fascinating, in that their quirky sense of

self-awareness and discovery are bound by jangly, broken-pop

compositions filled with off-kilter vocal fluctuations and zigzagging

enunciation that collapses into mumbles. There's something incredibly

familiar about it (Talking Heads meets Violent Femmes, maybe?), but

it's unique. Their brand-spankin'-new full-length, Red, Yellow, and

Blue (as much of a colorful display as the most literal person could

imagine), is like a toy you have more fun with the more you play with

it—you'll discover interesting subtleties in both music and lyrics and

fall in love before you know it. With Cadence Weapon and the Village

Green. TRAVIS RITTER

Sat., March 22, 9 p.m., 2008

 
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