Not born yesterday

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Born Ruffians play with the exuberance and nervous tension of teenagers, and they look the part - baby faces all around! Yet they write with a maturity most aging hacks can't muster.

The lads in this Toronto trio are only a couple years past adolescence, so the youthful thrills are to be expected, even demanded. They deserve oodles of praise, though, for tossing off magnificent little ditties like it ain't no thang.

Their new album, Red Yellow & Blue, isn't as jarring as their self-titled EP from a couple years back, which began with the harrowing, neurotic "This Sentence Will Ruin/Save Your Life." But that top-heavy collection ran out of steam before its 16 minutes were up, whereas the LP offers a deep well of riches.

They'll draw from that supply of jittery rhythms, chiming guitars and gang vocals when they make their Columbus debut Monday at Skully's.

The show promises to be a hoot. While Red Yellow & Blue shaves off a few of the band's rough edges - particularly singer Luke LaLonde's harsh yelps and maniacal screams - the live show remains delightfully unhinged, like Talking Heads getting drunk and playing Strokes covers.

That's not to say it's a mess; Born Ruffians deserve your attention most of all for pulling off this spectacle in lock step. It's a welcome reminder that no one should have to choose between immediacy and precision.