The opening track to the new Born Ruffians album speaks to how unusual this band is. It’s called, “Forget Me,” and it’s either about a stalker or a guy who is just trying to catch up to the woman he loves. “I’ll be right behind you…Wait for me…I’ll be right behind you…” I prefer to think of it as a love song, particularly because it’s got a punky, shouted vocal track of a man begging to be noticed–not someone lurking in the shadows. It feels like it could have been recorded by Tommy James and the Shondells, in that it’s simple, with a 1950s style beat, and yet it’s got a 1970s New York Bowery sound at the same time. Like The Ramones. And there are certainly much worse bands to be compared to, right?
The second cut is pretty similar. It’s well-done, but I’m getting worried that this is a one-note band. And yet, it feels more like early 1960s than late 1950s. So maybe we’re moving up through time?
Indeed, the third song creeps in slow and smooth, almost like the proverbial A.M. single of the 1970s, complete with soaring, airy chorus.
Perhaps the best thing about this wonderful record is that it’s short: Nine songs. This isn’t overstuffed. It’s a careful selection of songs, each with it’s own reason for being there.