When the Dead Boys coined the phrase “young, loud and snotty,” they not only came up with a catchy title for their debut album, they also put together three words that came to define punk rock as a whole. Seattle’s Briefs understand this better than anyone, playing old school, good time punk rock that’s louder and snottier than everyone else, even if they’re not the youngest of the bunch anymore. Steal Yer Heart, the latest batch of snot-nosed seat-slashers is the band’s fourth album. Take into account that many of punk rock’s greats didn’t make it past one or two and that’s pretty impressive.
Anyone keeping up with The Briefs will know, more or less, what to expect at this point: smart-assed lyrics, power chords a-plenty and some of the most infectious melodies ever blasted through a Marshall stack. That hasn’t changed on Steal Yer Heart, thank God. The Briefs don’t need glossy production, intricate arrangements or any extraneous flourishes to enhance their sound. In fact, it would only be ruined.
By keeping with the tried-and-true formula of three and four chord old school punk, The Briefs deliver yet another awesome slab of venereal vinyl, beginning with the cheekily titled “Genital General.” Consider it their “Orgasm Addict.” More tongue-in-cheek titles follow: “Getting Hit on at the Bank,” “My Girl (Wants to Be a Zombie),” “Normal Jerks.” One thing missing from Steal Yer Heart that previous album Sex Objects had in spades is political satire, but the band makes up for it by just plain having fun.
“Lint Fabrik” has some seriously ass-kicking guitar riffs, while “I Can’t Work” deals in fist-pumping, gang vocal shouting, slam dancing awesomeness. And closer “Razorblade Heart,” in all its bouncy poppiness, ends the album with some great, catchy pop. After four full-length albums under their belts, The Briefs are keeping it loud and snotty, even if they can’t escape the inevitability of aging. However, one could argue that youth is only a state of mind, and The Briefs must not feel any older than seventeen.
Dead Boys – Young, Loud and Snotty
Sleazies – Trite Ditties and Meaningless Crap
Epoxies – Epoxies
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.