The Briefs – Steal Yer Heart (CD)

The Briefs are one of those bands that really tie together a number of different genres in order to come up with something new. Sure, there are tracks on here that recall The Adverts and the Newton Neurotics, but the major influence of the band during tracks like “Move Too Slow” has to be the A-F records roster, namely The Code and Justin Sane.

The heavy use of bass on this track screams to more of a Matt Freeman influence than anything, while the clipped vocals look back to the 82 UK punk bands. There is enough repetition in a track like “Move Too Slow” to extend the tracks ninety seconds into something considerably longer; it is this minor issue that trips up The Briefs at times. However, for those people who jump into the pit at a Briefs show, there will be no lack of songs that the band can pull out of their hat to whip the crowd into a frenzy. However patchwork their influence may be, The Briefs do a great job on “Steal Yer Heart” of coming up with an album and band-specific sound, never once crumpling into the demands of Clearchannel radio or the allure of mTV. A track like “Getting Hit On At The Bank” seems to recall the spirit of The Adverts and The Stranglers more successfully than The Hives or The White Stripes ever could. What is the most simplistic of tracks, driven by the fewest chords possible may just be the catchiest of its kind. When The Briefs cut a track like “Stuck on You”, they mix equal parts Rancid (“Crucify Me”) and The Adverts (“Gary Gilmore’s Eyes”), creating a blend that will titillate in its happy medium of sound.

Even though the title of “My Girl (Wants To Be A Zombie)” and even the beginning lines of the song indicates that The Briefs may go Misfits-like for a track, the band finds themselves tremendously close to The Adicts than any other act. The Briefs are the equivalent of the punk rock karaoke act that Warped Tour has ever year, but instead of doing covers the band brings forth the spirit of other famous acts. “Steal Yer Heart” is the compilation of the different movements of the last thirty years of punk rock; its clean sound and poppy demeanor will make it an album that bands will follow for the next thirty years.

Top Tracks: Normal Jerks, Criminal Youth

Rating : 6.3/10

[JMcQ]

The Briefs – Steal Yer Heart / 2005 BYO / 12 Tracks / http://www.thebriefs.com / http://www.byorecords.com / Reviewed 12 November 2005

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