After releasing two singles (album opener ‘Needle’ and the dreamy ‘With Her Shadow’), in late March, Born Ruffians released their third album, Birthmarks, last month. Birthmarks’ expansive sound feels deliberate, and is a significant improvement from their sophomore album, Say It (2010).
With the help of Roger Leavens, who worked with Lalonde on his solo record, the Ruffians have managed to produce their most cohesive album.
Lalonde’s signature yelps and Hammelin’s urgent drumming, which gave them a distinct sound on their past two albums, are more subtle on this album, but surface with grace on ‘6-5000’ and ‘Rage Flows’. The entire album is smooth and refined, and has a sonic element, most apparent on ‘Too Soaked to Break’ and ‘So Slow’. ‘With Her Shadow’ and ‘Cold Pop’ are perfect summertime tunes, complete with light guitar riffs and bright lyrics.
My personal favourites include ‘Cold Pop’, ‘Permanent Hesitation’, and ‘With Her Shadow’.
If there is one album that I recommend adding to your summer rotation, it’s this one.