Song of the Day: “Heat Wave” by Born Ruffians

Born Ruffians (Photo by Vanessa Heins)

Born Ruffians — Luke Lalonde, Mitch DeRosier, and Steve Hamelin — will release PULP April 16 on Yep Roc Records. The digital-only album is the band’s final release in a trilogy that began with the release of JUICE and SQUEEZE in 2020.

From the new album, the trio share “Heat Wave.”

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Interview: Luke Lalonde of Born Ruffians (New Album: Squeeze)

Luke Lalonde (left) and Born Ruffians (Photo courtesy Yep Roc Records)

Canadian post-punks Born Ruffians are known for their high-energy shows, full of bright guitars and biting lyrics. Frontman Luke Lalonde formed the band with his collaborators in 2004, and they have released seven full-length albums and at least another three EPs. In 2020, Born Ruffians released two albums — Juice and Squeeze via Yep Roc Records — after crafting a bunch of songs prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Usually, Born Ruffians are often on the road, including regular stops in DC, where they appear at venues like Black Cat and Rock and Roll Hotel. Indeed, Parklife DC considered Born Ruffian’s 2015 show at the Rock and Roll Hotel to be one of our Top 10 Concerts of the Year. While the pandemic has sidelined touring bands, Luke has been passing the time at home, and he chatted with Parklife DC about the lifeline of touring, creative writing, and the two new Born Ruffians albums.

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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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Preview: Born Ruffians @ DC9, 12/15/18

Born Ruffians (Photo courtesy Paper Bag Records)

Post-punk rockers Born Ruffians put on a great live show, and they will put on such a show at DC9 on Saturday, Dec. 15. The post-punks attempted to stop by DC9 in March, soon after the release of Uncle, Duke & The Chief, their fifth studio album, but they postponed due to snow.

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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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