Album Review: PULP by Born Ruffians

Born Ruffians are an indie rock band from Toronto. My first introduction to them was through their debut album, Red, Yellow & Blue. I didn’t really listen to much of their other work until JUICE came out. However, that was definitely a let down for me. I ended up listening to SQUEEZE a few months after it’s initial release since the release totally slipped past me, but I ended up enjoying that more than the first of the trilogy. Here we are a few months later and they release the third album of the trilogy, PULP.

The first track off the album is Checkin’ Out. The track starts off with some ascending guitar notes that seems to continue for the first part of the track. After awhile, the guitar notes get a bit more exciting and build up over time with other instruments and vocals. They still have the playful vocals that are reminiscent of their first album, but it could be a bit more fun. Other than that, it sounds like your typical indie rock/pop track.

Types of People definitely livens up the album a bit more compared to the last track. While the guitars don’t really play much in the beginning, the drum part really keeps the beat grooving and reminds me of some of their older tracks. With the guitars short and staccato notes, it really strengthens the vocals and other instruments on this track. While this track was a little fun to listen to the first time, it got pretty stale quickly.

Heat Wave was one of the promotional singles for this album and I honestly did not care for it when it first came out. However, this easily became one of my favorites as I continued to listen to it and gave it a chance. While this is definitely a slower paced track, the melodious guitar mixed in with the harmonies of vocals just puts you in a certain mood. I’m also getting some Real Estate vibes from time to time. You’ll also want to keep on singing ‘Shoo shoo’ by the end of the track.

Beyond the Lightning brings the energy back to the album, and I’m definitely seeing some similarities between this track and some of the earlier tracks of SQUEEZE, like Sentimental Saddle. With the raging guitars and somewhat western feeling at the beginning, I’m glad that they decided to take advantage of that sound since that’s what drew me into SQUEEZE. The track does get a bit strange in the middle when they slow it down and strip some of the instruments away.

Just as you’d expect, Ring Finger is all about marriage and proposals. It’s a fun track, but does have a deeper meaning to it, and I’m wondering if one of the members had a similar situation. The track talks about how people will say anything just to get proposed to. However, he talks about how this person doesn’t even know what love really is about. Other than that, the glitzy and wavy guitars halfway through the track are mesmerizing.

Husha was another promotional track for this album. Again, I wasn’t really blown away from this track at the get go, however, I’m still not thrilled about this track. As I said before, my first experience with Born Ruffians was the exciting and playful tracks from their debut, Red, Yellow & Blue. Nothing wrong about having a slower and loving track, but it just comes out from nowhere when the last track was so playful and light. It does get more powerful for about 30 seconds near the end of the track, but it’s not enough to keep me intrigued.

The final track of the album and the trilogy of albums is Happy Parasites. Coming into this, I knew that they had to bring everything together at once since this was the finale for the entire trilogy. It really does sound like something from their debut, especially since it sounded like the production quality was a bit weaker on this one. While the beginning of the album was a bit weak, I’m glad that they were able to end this on a high note.

While this wasn’t my favorite project of there’s, I’m just glad this wasn’t the weakest out of the trilogy. After this project though, I’m not sure what they are going to try to bring to the table next.

Overall Rating: 7/10

Favorite Tracks: Heat Wave, Beyond the Lightning, Ring Finger, Happy Parasites

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