Song of the Day: “30th Century War” by Born Ruffians

BORNRUFFIANS2019_0577_2Born Ruffians (Photo by Vanessa Heins)

Toronto-based indie rockers Born Ruffians — Luke Lalonde (guitar/vocals), Mitch DeRosier (bass), and Steve Hamelin (drums) — return with their second album of 2020. The digital-only SQUEEZE will be out on Oct. 2 via Yep Roc Records.

For your listening pleasure, we present the track “30th Century War” from the new album.

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Don’t Miss: Born Ruffians @ DC9, 3/21/18

Born Ruffians (Photo courtesy Paper Bag Records)

Editor’s Update on March 21: DC9 has canceled the Born Ruffians show tonight due to snow in DC. Luke Lalonde says the band will seek to reschedule!

Post-punk rockers Born Ruffians put on a great live show, and they will put on such a show at DC9 on Wednesday, March 21, in the wake of the release of Uncle, Duke & The Chief, their fifth studio album, which they released on Feb. 16 via Paper Bag Records.

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Music Park: Born Ruffians @ Rock and Roll Hotel — 5/3/16

Born Ruffians 25
Born Ruffians thrill the crowd at the Rock and Roll Hotel on Tuesday, May 3, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

The Born Ruffians descended on the Rock and Roll Hotel on May 3rd, and they want to thank you very much. Sorry, not really. They actually want you to eat shit, because they did it. And by “it”, they surely mean played an epic rock concert to the adoring fans. They did it and we were there with our shit-eating grins.

Touring for their fourth album, RUFF, the Born Ruffians were fully up to the task of rousing the decent sized crowd to dance and sing along. Those who braved their performance, a mere six months after their last appearance at the Rock and Roll Hotel, were rewarded with song after song brimming with memorable hooks and melodies, laden with a heavy dose of punk attitude.

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Don’t Miss: Born Ruffians @ Rock and Roll Hotel, 5/3/16

Born Ruffians (Photo by Laura Lynn Petrick)

When Born Ruffians performed in DC last year, I hailed it as one of the top shows of the year, ranking it at #4 in my Top 10 Concerts of 2015.

“Born Ruffians roared back into DC with a fourth album, demonstrating how the post-punk stalwarts are at least as clever and good as bigger bands in their genre, including Interpol, Vampire Weekend, and Bloc Party,” I said of their show at the Rock and Roll Hotel on Nov. 3, 2015.

And so it’s great that the Canadian post-punk quartet are returning to play again, six months later to the day, at the Rock and Roll Hotel on May 3, 2016, in support of their fourth album RUFF, released in 2015 on Yep Rock Records.

The Wall Street Journal apparently agreed with my assessment, saying Born Ruffians bring “nervy, wily rock that peers back to precursors like Talking Heads and sideways to like-minded contemporaries including Vampire Weekend and Animal Collective.”

Watch Born Ruffians perform “Don’t Live Up” live in the Sawyer Sessions at Mystery Brewing Public House in Hillsborough, NC, from Dec. 10, 2015, on YouTube:

The Born Ruffians are in tremendous form these days, with bandmates Luke Lalonde (guitar/vocals), Mitch Derosier (bass), Andy Lloyd (guitar/keyboard), and Adam Hindle (drums) all truly firing on all cylinders.

Experimental pop trio ON AN ON from Minneapolis open for Born Ruffians. Tickets are available online.

Born Ruffians
Rock and Roll Hotel
Tuesday, May 3
Doors @7pm
All ages

Music Park: Parklife DC Top 10 Concerts of 2015 by Mickey

Steve Norman of Spandau Ballet was a star player at the 9:30 Club on April 28, 2015. (Photo by Joy Asico)

When I look back upon 2015, I certainly discovered my share of new favorite bands. But I have to confess, the best shows of the year were dominated by legacy bands returning to reclaim their pop thrones. And so the shows I am most excited about in 2015 were generally those shows where a genre-defining artist came back to DC and absolutely mastered their art.

But I’ll add this postscript: 2015 also was the year of the punk rock girl, as several notable bands reminded me of how much I like a woman’s voice over a bit of surf or rockabilly guitar. I’ll explain more after my official list of Parklife DC Top 10 Concerts of 2015.

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Music Park: Young Rival @ Rock and Roll Hotel — 11/3/15


Young Rival could have stepped straight out of a time machine on to the stage of the Rock and Roll Hotel last Tuesday, November 3rd.

They identify as an indie-rock band from Ontario, Canada and opened for the Born Ruffians, who are also Canadian. (See our review.)

Young Rival gave the full DC crowd a distinct vibe from the 1960’s. There were times when I was looking at those around me, wondering if they were playing a Beatles’ cover. Turns out, it was their own songs, like “Two Reasons” from their second album, Stay Young.

A ‘glitter blanket’ thing greeted us, mysteriously (ominously?) occupying the stage. The shimmering costume sparkled and rippled before ‘it’ exited stage left as the band burst on the scene. Each band member paraded around with a similar glittery jacket. White flowers adorned and complemented the instruments.

Somehow Glitter Blanket failed to make a return, but for those that stayed, Aron D’Alesio (lead vocals, guitar), John Smith (bass) and Noah Fralick (drums), there was a hint of the psychedelic in their performance.

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Music Park: Born Ruffians @ Rock and Roll Hotel — 11/3/15

Born Ruffians
Luke Lalonde sings at NXNE 2015 in Toronto on June 19, 2015. (Photo by Deborah Helena)

Canadian quartet Born Ruffians are really in a damn good moment.

Led by vocalist Luke Lalonde, the band has honed its post-punk melodies to the point where I would argue that they are superior to many other offerings in their genre, even if their music occasionally echoes the sounds of those others — ranging from Vampire Weekend to Interpol.

Yes, I am daring to suggest that Born Ruffians right now, at this moment, are better than Vampire Weekend or Interpol.

But first things first, Luke and his compatriots are touring on a strong new album — their fourth — RUFF, released earlier this year on Yep Rock Records. In support of that tour, they made a stop at the Rock and Roll Hotel Tuesday for a show that was close to being sold out.

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Don’t Miss: Born Ruffians @ Rock and Roll Hotel, 11/3/15

Born Ruffians (Photo by Maya Fuhr)

Canadian post-punk quartet Born Ruffians released a new album, simply titled RUFF, on Oct. 2 via Yep Roc. The band just wrapped up a tour of Europe, and they are set to start a US tour in support of the new record next week, visiting DC to perform at the Rock and Roll Hotel soon after on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Born Ruffians’ new single, “Don’t Live Up,” has drawn praise from reviewers for its nervous energy and cautionary message. The clever video for the song depicts the band caught in a whirlwind of daily activities as the play gigs/grab drinks/go to bed/eat food/do it again. But is it all it’s cracked up to be?

Watch the official video for “Don’t Live Up” by Born Ruffians on YouTube:

Lead singer and guitarist Luke Lalonde explained the video’s concept, saying, “The video was meant to represent one version of something that isn’t quite what you might expect. The difference in perception versus reality.”

Although the video is fun, the song comes with a warning, Luke adds, cautioning that sometimes it’s good to take it slow: “The song is about the idea that one’s ideas of what they need to achieve in order to be fulfilled/happy doesn’t always meet the expectations once you get there.”

Indeed, the entire RUFF album has a sense of knowing when to say enough is enough and when to take stock of things, particularly with songs like “Don’t Worry Now,” “When Things Get Pointless I Roll Away,” and “Fuck Feelings.”

Some of the songs have the sense of malaise belied by inquisitiveness found as a theme in the music of the Talking Heads, but Luke and company maintain an immaturity that dodges some of the deeper intellectual assessments of life that underpin the songs of David Byrne and company. That’s okay – maybe sometimes you just want to say “fuck feelings!”

Still, Born Ruffians demonstrate some quality musical chops on their fourth album, and they promise to entertain on the accompanying tour!

Tickets are available online.

Born Ruffians
w/ Young Rival and Boon
Rock and Roll Hotel
Tuesday, Nov. 3
Doors @7pm
All ages