Born Ruffians - Say It (3 stars)

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Born Ruffians - Say It

(Warp)

It’s hard, at first, to really know what to make of Say It – the second album from Warp Records’ Canadian trio, Born Ruffians. Once you get past the grating eccentricities of Luke Lalonde’s vocals, there is an equally unhinged musical landscape to scour. The entire album puts focus on bright melody and often moves at an accommodatingly bouncy pace, but there are lingering and rather unique details ingrained in these ten tracks that make them interestingly odd.

While it regularly sounds like the band are invading the creative waters of the likes of Vampire Weekend, The Shins and Grizzly Bear – with all their sporadic, fiddly guitar licks and crooning vocal delivery – every instrument is subtly twisted and treated with a variety of sonic enhancements and effects, ultimately giving the album that ‘Warp’ feel. Despite sounding rather dry in its production overall, guitar lines sparkle, flitting in and out of focus, whilst the rhythm section is steeped in warmth and altogether funky – check out ‘What To Say’ or latest single ‘Sole Brother’. A bizarre summer classic.

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