Toronto’s Born Ruffians pull a trick few young bands can: They resemble their idols without mimicking them. This isn’t faint praise. On 2008’s Red, Yellow and Blue, the band managed to distill the most appealing aspects of jittery post-punk without yielding any obvious comparisons. Songs like “Barnacle Goose” and “I Need a Life” showcase a healthy familiarity with the repertoires of Talking Heads and Pixies, but their enthusiasm means they’re not mere facsimiles. Even more impressively, the Canadians penned a song called “Kurt Vonnegut”—which included a potentially cringe-worthy allusion to Cat’s Cradle—that, against all odds, does its subject justice. Last seen kicking around the East Coast with Vampire Weekend and Tokyo Police Club, Born Ruffians are currently supporting the June-released album Say It, which flirts with generic indicators of maturity but thankfully retains the band’s lockstep rhythms and dry sense of humor.
BORN RUFFIANS PERFORMS WITH WINTER GLOVES AND TWINS OF A GAZELLE AT 8:30 P.M. AT ROCK & ROLL HOTEL, 1353 H ST. NE. $12. (202) 388-7625.