Label: Warp Records Link: www.myspace.com/bornruffians

If you’re a fan of Skins or mobile phone adverts, you’ve probably already heard the highlight of ‘Red, Yellow & Blue’. ‘Hummingbird’ gave Canadian trio Born Ruffians the perfect opportunity to become stratospheric with impressionable teen TV audiences the country over yet, unlike Crystal Castles, their appearance on the nation’s favourite pill-popping bed-hopping adolescent drama seems not to have sky-rocketed their popularity, with there being no noticeable difference in their audiences at live shows and no evidence of hyperbole-filled column inches in quadruple figures. Should the wider world regret ignoring the group or is there justification for passing the Toronto three by?

Based on this record, the Ruffians’ first full-length effort, you’d probably be more inclined to settle on middle ground rather than pledge your allegiance to either extreme. Whilst some songs are essential listening (‘Hummingbird’, ‘I Need a Life’), others are filler that have you reaching for the remote (‘Badonkadonkey’, ‘In a Mirror’). What makes Born Ruffians interesting though, for the most part, is singer Luke LaLonde’s almost pre-pubescent vocals and the unpredictable twisting and turning of the song structures - ‘Little Garcon’, for example, could quite easily be two separate tracks, the change is so dramatic. Elsewhere, drummer Steve Hamelin and bassist Mitch deRosier’s hollering backing vocals add substance to some otherwise flimsy tracks, whilst the contradictory verses and ‘Cat’s Cradle’-quoting of ‘Kurt Vonnegut save the latter half of the record being a disappointing end to a fantastic beginning.

A few records in, perhaps Born Ruffians will create a masterpiece but until then, ‘Red, Yellow & Blue’ is as good a place as any to start things off.