We are officially in the heat and heart of summer; the jubilant, sweltering, disgustingly sweat filled days of July. Summer is a season of risk taking, of silly adventures and constant reminders that Yes, This is it, It is good to be alive. What other season supports, nay, celebrates day drinking, sleeping outside, and water guns? No other season represents the temporal euphoria of youth and exuberant jubilee as much as the one we are in. And to perfectly soundtrack these summer days and night, we need a band that understands this feeling of content. Birthmarks, the new album by Born Ruffians is such a record and Born Ruffians is such a band that understands the ennui and glee of youth. As such, it is perfect Summer music! Drink a beer in the shower, then open up another one on the patio when you put this record on. This is perfect pregame shower music that will pump you the fuck up.
Something of a sprintly fellow, Luke Lalonde and his posse of youthful delinquents bring nothing but yelping bliss to the forefront of indie rock. Doesn’t hurt that the the foursome originate from Toronto with their 3rd full length album in tow this 2013 year. Those of us that loved their debut Red Blue and Yellow have lots to look forward as the band has evolved with a more synthed sound along with much tighter production. My only complaint is that parts of the album sound reminiscent of a lot of their contemporaries; Vampire Weekend, Fleet Foxes, Peter Bjorn and John, on first listen. But let the album grow on you. The first time I heard their single Needle, I found it a little too Fleet Foxes-y the first 30 seconds in, but once the chorus hits, its back to classic yelp and repeat, Born Ruffians fashion.
Birthmarks is a poppier and more balanced production than the band is known for. Though tighter production aside, the non-sequitors and gleeful yelping is still abundant The whole album is a swirling, melodic wave that you will want to ride over and over. Blast it in an open car window, blast it when you’re dressing for the morning, and blast it on those sweaty summer nights when you feel so young you almost fucking miss it already.