born ruffianslittle garcon ep
  • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 03, 2008

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The Born Ruffian's are a three piece set hailing from Toronto, Canada. The EP follow up to their Red Yellow Blue full length, Little Garcon sounds kind of like the jukebox of your local, neighborhood dive bar at 1 am, jumping around with sing-song-y familiarity, an underlying country twang, and a healthy scoop of in-song unpredictability that has everyone in the bar drunkily mouthing along the wrong lyrics.

The title track "Little Garcon" starts off with an acoustic guitar/harmonica combination reminiscent of a '64 Newport-era Dylan, and just when you think you got their style figured out, they throw in an accordion and all of a sudden sound like a Parisian coffee shop. Save for two electronic, Dntel style remixes (which mesh surprisingly well with the trio's yelping vocal style-- "I Need a Life" especially sounds like it may as well have been a Unicorn's song), the rest of the album is a fundamentally sound toe-tapper, utilizing acoustic guitar medleys, mimetic bass rhythms, and snare-driven drums to produce a sound reminiscent of The Cold War Kids. "Coldness Hot" strums along with a repetitive and melodic bass rhythm that's both poppy and upbeat, whereas "Wedding Rings and Sea Strollers" carves its own instrumental niche somewhere between a fair carousel and a pirate ship.

Little Garconis an ambitious little guy, going from American folk to poppy sea shanties in a little under 28 minutes, and oftentimes this variety can be a bit detrimental to a relatively new band trying to nail down a sound. However, The Born Ruffians pull off a wide spectrum of musicality without really looking like they're trying too hard, and usually that's a pretty solid indicator of good things yet to come. -chris gayomali
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