Born Ruffians, 'Red, Yellow and Blue' (Warp)

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Red, Yellow and Blue
Critical Mass
Label: Warp

by Bret Gladstone

Since the early '90s, indie rock has been rapidly assimilating and responding to its own trends. And in today's accelerated digital culture, that process has rocketed forward. Take Born Ruffians' sophomore disc, which sounds just as dizzily nostalgic for buzz bands of ten minutes ago (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah) as for Modest Mouse or '70s British punk or the Beach Boys. Like most young indie acts, the Ruffians are far better the less seriously they take themselves: While the title track is a rather embarrassing stab at sociopolitical commentary, the rest of the album -- with jangly guitars, ragged melodies, ooh-wah choruses, and warbled vocals -- is a blast of anxious, giddy energy.

Now Hear This:Born Ruffians, "Hummingbird" DOWNLOAD MP3

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