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. Ruffians

‘Say It’ sounds more workman-like than its predecessor
but retains the Talking-Headsinspired 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.

f only there were more tracks on here like ‘Empathy’, which takes a simple, hip-hop, 4/4 beat and adds the kind of shimmering synth loop that makes Timberland the King Midas of production that he is.

In its current climate it’s a unique glimpse of Crystal Castles’ potential
indeed. But what ‘Crystal Castles’ boils down to is 3 definite highlights that, if matched, would have meant that Ethan Kath and Alice Glass
could have stropped around for another year, forgiven.

With 11 tracks that are largely undecipherable from previous efforts, though, it looks like they might need to learn how to
behave themselves.

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