Starting a review with a line taken from the press release is normally a cast-iron cringe guarantee. But in the case of the Born Ruffians second album, the bumf accompanying it hits the nail on the head with impressive accuracy. “If their debut was the result of a talented gang of freshmen”, it reads “their follow-up would be the project they left college to finish.” With the 2008 crossover hit ‘Hummingbird’, the Canadians had raised the bar for their future output. ‘Say It’ sounds more workman-like than its predecessor but retains the Talking-Heads-inspired jerks and twee guitar lines, and the “I just wanna set the world on fire” hook in ‘Retard Canard’ is as infectious as anything on (the similarly smart) Vampire Weekend’s debut album. Less boisterous but also – crucially – less irritating than their first effort, this isn’t quite a first, but a very good 2:1.

By Matthias Scherer

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