Album Review: Born Ruffians’ “Birthmarks”


To begin. Birthmarks is completely infectious.

Singer, Luke Lalonde’s vocals have some factor that just will not leave your head, and make you wonder why Born Ruffians has never made it onto your favorites playlist. Really though, how has this not happened yet? You will hear “Needles” once, and need to listen to it over, and over…

The album opens with “Needles,” which has a slower opener with an almost melancholy tone until the track cuts into a heavy pop beat. The semi-chopping chorus is belted out, and has a charm to it.

The album is between indie rock and indie pop, but it also has a different aspect to it, Born Ruffians take on an almost Brit-pop tone with Birthmarks. 

Again with “6-5000,” the chorus is punchy and instantly catchy. The song begins with a drum beat, and then moves into the chorus with shocks of energy as the words “6” and “5000” are distinctly separated.

Opening with a bass line, “Ocean’s Deep” then moves into the vocals that come in to mesh perfectly with the bass. The yelp-y singing is pushed out to match the prominent bass, for a head bobbing, fast paced tune.

“Permanent Hesitation” is different than the other tracks. It has a more pop based synth beat. The singing is slower and more intimate than the preceding tracks. Towards the end of the song, the instrumentals quiet, and the vocals sound become more personal.

“Cold Pop” taps out a rapid beat, alternating between fast and slow beats. “Too Soaked To Break,” is one of the slower songs off Birthmarks with rising instrumentals that sit in the back of the song, but give an almost mystical sound to the song. “Dancing On The Edge Of Our Graves” layers in a bass line, less yelp-y vocals, and backing vocals into one of the better tracks on the album.

What makes Birthmarks a huge step forward from Born Ruffians’ past albums is its concise vision. Everything is well thought out, and nothing seems half done. The group flawless blends pop beats with instrumentals and unique vocals and punchy chorus lines.

Born Ruffians is scheduled to play at The EARL on Wednesday, April 24th. 


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