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INDIE ROCK

Born Ruffians offer a vibrant indie soundscape

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February 26, 2008

Born Ruffians

Red, Yellow & Blue (Warp)

ESSENTIAL "Hummingbird"

When it comes to indie rock, Canada has been a hotbed of musical activity - and it seems the Toronto trio Born Ruffians has paid attention. This full-length debut takes cues from fellow countrymen, borrowing the post-punk energy of Hot Hot Heat, the poppy hooks of Broken Social Scene, and the jolting drumbeats of Arcade Fire. The Ruffians' collective resumé is impressive: Their 2006 EP earned comparisons to Modest Mouse; they've toured with Peter, Bjorn & John, and Hot Chip. This album's song titles could populate a zoo: the infectious "Barnacle Goose," the jaunty gem "Hummingbird," the gleefully repetitious "Badonkadonkey," and the splendidly syncopated "Red Elephant." "Red, Yellow & Blue" delivers a splash of color to a vibrant indie soundscape. [Lindsay Talbot]

Born Ruffians play the Middle East Upstairs Friday.

A tour de force on the kora

Easy does it - but not any better

Back in black, take 2

Amid mice and other creatures

Cooler than ever

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