Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

Music
cover art

Born Ruffians

Hummingbird

(Warp; US: 2 Oct 2007; UK: 1 Oct 2007)

Hummingbird is a quick, three-song strike from the Toronto-based Born Ruffians released in preparation for their full-length debut, Red, Yellow, & Blue, due next year. It serves as a nice introduction for anyone who missed the band’s first EP, and shows that they’re tightening up their chops a bit. The title track seems to be a shiny piece of cute indie pop, until you catch up to just how fast and funky the guitar and bass deliver the riffs, and how the band can change tempo on a dime. What distinguishes Born Ruffians from typical indie pop fodder is their ability to match up parts in their songs that aren’t quite equal or expected. The slowed-down uh-ohs in “Kurt Vonnegut” make the song shudder somewhat, breaking up its smooth coast in favor of something a little more daring, and the wrenches the band is always throwing into these songs pay off. Their cover of Grizzly Bear’s “Knife”—the 97th cover of that song on record—does sound a little bit like empty calories in comparison to the brooding original, but it is still delivered with equal parts energy and tight-execution. If this EP is any indication of what’s coming on the full-length, then the Born Ruffians are about to take off.

Rating:

Matthew Fiander is a music critic for PopMatters and Prefix Magazine. He also writes fiction and his work has appeared in The Yalobusha Review. He received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from UNC-Greensboro and currently teaches writing and literature at High Point University in High Point, NC. You can follow him on Twitter at @mattfiander.


Tagged as: born ruffians
Media
Born Ruffians - Hummingbird
Related Articles
14 Apr 2013
Immersing themselves in the process, Born Ruffians aim for a more cohesive vision on their third full-length.
9 Jun 2010
On their frequently fascinating new album, the sonic mischief runs rampant.
By PopMatters Staff
2 Jun 2010
By PopMatters Staff
2 Mar 2010
Comments
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.