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Sunday, December 2, 2018

Indie rockers Born Ruffians reclaim their original spark in long-awaited Orlando return

Posted By on Sun, Dec 2, 2018 at 3:24 PM

click to enlarge Born Ruffians
  • Born Ruffians
THIS LITTLE UNDERGROUND
Born Ruffians, Little Junior and Talk With Your Hands, Soundbar, Nov. 30

Toronto band Born Ruffians emerged onto the scene strong back in the late 2000s with their irrepressible snap, scrap and spark. Then somewhere along the way, almost as suddenly as they popped out from the pack, they sanded off all the angles that made them interesting and receded into pleasant but unremarkable indie rock.
click to enlarge Born Ruffians at Soundbar - BAO LE-HUU
  • Bao Le-Huu
  • Born Ruffians at Soundbar
But recently, as evidenced by this year’s album (Uncle, Duke & the Chief) and their latest return to Orlando after eight years, they’ve reclaimed some of their spunk and vitality. Sure, they’ve got more polish, but now they’re recalibrated with some of their original vim and punch.
click to enlarge Born Ruffians at Soundbar - BAO LE-HUU
  • Bao Le-Huu
  • Born Ruffians at Soundbar
click to enlarge Born Ruffians at Soundbar - BAO LE-HUU
  • Bao Le-Huu
  • Born Ruffians at Soundbar
Since the elastic nerve of their early days has been brought back into their crisp melodies, they’re riding high once again with some skip and slap. And it’s nice to see them return in both sound and person.
click to enlarge Little Junior at Soundbar - BAO LE-HUU
  • Bao Le-Huu
  • Little Junior at Soundbar
Making their Florida debut, fellow Torontonians Little Junior were a nice revelation with a bursting live presence. They radiate an offbeat blend of attitude and approachability but carry it with tons of sonic muscle. It’s high-octane guitar rock that’s cut in big, beefy strokes like Weezer’s punk kid brother.
click to enlarge Little Junior at Soundbar - BAO LE-HUU
  • Bao Le-Huu
  • Little Junior at Soundbar
A nice homegrown discovery were Orlando band Talk With Your Hands. Their indie rock is built on shimmering jangle-pop melodies that are whisked with briskness, pep and the kind of punctuation that first distinguished Born Ruffians.
click to enlarge Talk With Your Hands at Soundbar - BAO LE-HUU
  • Bao Le-Huu
  • Talk With Your Hands at Soundbar
Even though they have some dynamic signatures, they seldom allow much to interrupt their nice perpetual gallop. They’ve got quality songs that are remarkably immediate and are a local act worth noting.
click to enlarge Talk With Your Hands at Soundbar - BAO LE-HUU
  • Bao Le-Huu
  • Talk With Your Hands at Soundbar
Follow Bao on Twitter (@baolehuu)
Email Bao: baolehuu@orlandoweekly.com

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