Published Mar 27, 2009Talk about two bands that don't fit easily into any genre, let alone sub-genre. Toronto's Born Ruffians (pictured) and Brooklyn's Akron/Family took to the stage for the second of two sold out shows at Sneaky Dee's.
The local boys started off the show with "Badonka Donkey," which quickly got the crowd and the band rolling. They went on to hit almost every track from their debut LP Red, Yellow and Blue. Although they failed to showcase any new tracks, there was a new live drummer named Ahmed Gallab and an added fourth member, Andy Lloyd, on the keys, as well as other random instruments, which created a fuller sound to the once minimalist three-piece.
You'd think that since their album has been out for almost a year recycling the same tracks could become dry and predictable, but that was hardly the case. Every song from the Ruffians was delivered organically, growing and transforming into incredible variations of themselves. At one point "Little Garcon" turned into a great throwback to '50s rock before ending in a four-part a cappella.
If Born Ruffians can be described as organic, than Akron/Family's set should be described as having a life of it's own. Rarely was there a clear point where one track ended and another began. Showcasing new material from their forthcoming album, Set 'Em Wild, Set 'Em Free, the jams that poured out were only topped by the joy and obvious fun the band were having.
From a single guitar and three-part harmonies, to songs that shook the tiny walls and had the crowd thumping to the point where the floor's stability was questionable, Akron/Family's songbook took cues from almost every genre under the sun. They didn't just put on a show, they provided an unforgettable experience.