Posted September 9, 2020 by Jeff in Tunes

Born Ruffians’ Latest Chronicles Massive Global Shifts

Born Ruffians
Born Ruffians

Toronto-based indie rockers Born Ruffians — Luke Lalonde (guitar/vocals), Mitch DeRosier (bass) and Steve Hamelin (drums) — have kept busy during 2020. They’ll deliver their second album of 2020, the digital-only Squeeze, on Oct. 2 via Yep Roc Records. The single “30th Century War” sounds like a cross between the Smiths and Violent Femmes and the somber “Albatross” features a beautiful piano and horn melody.

You can pre-order the album here.

Following 2018’s Richard Swift-produced Uncle, Duke & The Chief, the band still had a batch of songs that it wanted to record, so it entered the studio without knowing what would become of them. Those prolific recording sessions yielded the previously released Juice and now Squeeze.

Produced by Graham Walsh (Holy Fuck) and Born Ruffians and recorded at Baldwin Street Sound in Toronto, the band’s latest album was written in the shadow of Brexit and Donald Trump, birthed well before the global pandemic, and finds the trio exploring a more psych-y, orchestral, and expansive sound.

In a press release about the album, lead singer/songwriter Luke Lalonde admits to being “one of the millions who’ve become more politically switched on” by present-day circumstances, and notes the nine songs on the album had him “thinking about the end of the American empire and these massive global shifts that we’re seeing.”

“30thCentury War” wonders aloud how everyone can still be “all filled up with emotional conflict” when “peace and understanding are so basic,” says Lalonde. “Lately, I’ve just had a really hard time getting into anything that isn’t saying something.”

Lalonde shares vocal duties with indie-pop luminary Hannah Georgas on “Waylaid,” and the band goes back to its “hooky roots” on the opening track, “Sentimental Saddle.”


Jeff started writing about rock ’n’ roll some 20 years ago when he stood in the pouring rain to hitch hike his way to see R.E.M. on their Life’s Rich Pageant tour. Since that time, he's written for various daily newspapers, alt-weeklies, magazines and websites. Feel free to comment on his posts or suggest music, film and art to him at jeff@whopperjaw.net.